An Essential Ingredient for Success: Teamwork by: Napoleon Hill
People can live without the friendly cooperation of others, and many of them do. But they cannot avail themselves of the greater benefits of civilization or gain the peace of mind that is enjoyed by those who ally themselves with others in a spirit of friendly teamwork.
Everywhere and in everything friendly team work is a fundamental principle of growth and power. Nature is our authority for the soundness of this principle. Our body, for example, is one of nature’s most remarkable demonstrations of the power and value of teamwork.
The body consists of countless billions of cells, each of which serves a definite purpose in connection with the growth and maintenance of the whole. These cells are organized into groups known as organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver, brain, spinal cord, alimentary canal, veins and nerves. Each organ has its specific work to do. When one fails, the entire pattern is disrupted and some form of physical disorder follows.
Teamwork also plays an essential part in music. Harmony of voices in a choir, the blended tones of many musical instruments in an orchestra or band, are achieved through practiced coordination of effort: teamwork.
A successful play can be produced only by careful cooperation of the players, the director, the stage hands and everyone connected with the project.
The game of bridge provides another excellent example of the value of teamwork. And it is the absolute rule in the great American games of football, baseball and basketball.
Throughout life every great victory is supported by some kind of friendly teamwork. Sometimes the wearer of the crown of success owes their victory to the unselfish teamwork of their spouse; sometimes to an efficient secretary or business partner, or to a group of loyal associate workers who help him to carry out his plans. It is a mark of great wisdom when any man displays skill in winning the friendly cooperation of his associates.
It was this kind of wisdom which was displayed by Copernicus in astronomy, Columbus in navigation, Plato in philosophy, Edison in invention, Beethoven in music, Michelangelo in art, Marconi in wireless communication, and the Wright Brothers in aeronautics. Each of these men used the minds and knowledge of others to discover and produce the benefits which their labors bestowed upon the world. They were cooperators all!
And there is no record of any individual having made a truly great contribution to civilization without the cooperation of others—cooperation of a retroactive nature which extended both to the discovery of the source of the contribution and the medium by which it was made available to the world.
Source: PMA Science of Success Course. Educational Edition. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. 1961. Pgs. 373-374.