Team player? What does it mean?

Part of a Team

I talk about it all the time – team, part of the team, team player – the words flow out of my mouth like I invented them. Yesterday though, one of our team members asked what I meant when I said something about being part of the same team.

I don’t even remember what I was trying to communicate. I now have no idea why I was talking even about it. All I do know is that I didn’t have a great answer.

The phrase “part of the team” sounds like sports. And if you’re from Pittsburgh, it definitely sounds like sports. However, I wasn’t talking about sports.

Instead, I was talking about our small group of people that make up Found Advisors. The idea was about the way our strengths compliment one another’s strengths. Working together helps us overcome our weaknesses.

In this case, I was discussing how we each have different perspectives, but one common goal. I thought about the way we bounce ideas off each other and come up with better ones. My mind was focused our clients and partner companies as part of our team.

And now that I think about it and put it out there on “paper”, the word team seems inadequate. According to, teamwork can be defined as the process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal. That sounds a bit better.


I like the word collaboration. It feels bigger to me than teamwork. Maybe it’s a spectrum? Collaboration includes teamwork and adds a sense of urgency. It includes a sense of shared purpose that is greater than our individual goals.

Collaboration requires a high degree of transparency. It necessitates open and honest communication. Specifically, collaboration happens because interdependence is crucial. Without it, a goal cannot be achieved.

It could be that it’s all semantics and really doesn’t matter. All I know is that I love being part of the Found Advisors team. Furthermore, learning what each person brings to the group and understanding my role makes each day a joy.

I truly appreciate working for a company that values my contribution. More importantly, they look for ways to use my strengths to benefit our clients, coworkers, partners and the CRE industry. Above all, I truly believe that it’s what makes us stand out from the crowd.

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