You are the foundation of your team's success

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Griner
  • 71st Medical Group superintendent
I spent 24 years in Nutritional Medicine. Many of you know us as Medical Food Service, the folks in the basement of the hospital that provide meals to the patients and staff. 

Prior to coming to Vance, I was superintendent of Nutritional Medicine at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. 

One day, my wife and her parents came for a visit and on our way to the dining room for lunch my wife commented, "You always work in the basement." I replied, "That's because we are the foundation of the hospital." 

We all laughed and joked about it for a while; however, my reply has stuck with me ever since. I have used it at times to shore up swaying morale of my peers and subordinates -- as we in Nutritional Medicine often felt underappreciated. 

I would say to them that we are the foundation of the building and without us it would crumble. Obviously, this was a slight exaggeration but it does illustrate the point that everyone is important and has a role to play. Everyone has an important position. 

It is not uncommon for an organization to make reference to itself as a team, as in "MDG Team" or "Team Vance." This further illustrates the point that everyone is part of a greater whole and has a role and a position of responsibility to the team. Without all the parts fulfilling their role, the team will not perform at its peak and may even fail. 

Each and every one of us should see ourselves as the foundation of the operation and at the same time view others as part of the same bedrock that holds the operation together -- that accomplishes the mission. 

If one part is missing, the mission will suffer and can come to a halt. Each and every person, element, flight, squadron and group is essential to the mission. 

We all function as a team, and like a football team, without any one player the team performance suffers. You might think that your job is not that important. Yes, there are some jobs that are more glamorous and have more visibility. But who is to say that one is more important than another? 

The coach calls the play. Then the quarterback directs and guides the team and is often the focus of attention -- but what about the center that snaps the ball so the quarter back can do his thing. Would the quarterback be able to perform without him? 

Obviously, without the center the quarterback could not do his job. 

This same concept trickles all the way down to every player including the support personnel, the trainers and the coaches. Everyone is important, has unique abilities and skills, and has a vital role in the team success. 

So whatever your skill, whatever your job, consider yourself an important part of the foundation because without you the foundation is not as solid and the team is not as effective. 

The power of the team: divide the tasks, multiply the successes.