March 21 • 05:53 AM

Together we achieve more

September 12, 2007
Next to my computer is a wonderful poster of probably 25 kids, many in wheelchairs, cooperating to hold up one of those colorful umbrella-like parachutes. Above the picture is the acronym Together Everyone Achieves More.

TEAM. The theme seems to have been woven through the last couple of weeks. Everywhere I look, I see evidences that it works.

Take Woods-N-Water. When is the last time you stopped to think what a big deal it is for a town the size of Imlay City? There's the magazine itself, widely read by outdoor sports enthusiasts, but birthed right here in our little newspaper office, if I'm not mistaken. And then there's the festival, with vendors whose reputations have grown up right here, as well as ones from much farther away. Do you think that the inception and growth of such an event just happened without a huge amount of vision casting and teamwork, not to mention tons of elbow grease?

Or, take our schools. Mr. Gary Richards, spokesperson for the leadership team of our public school system, spoke along those lines as he addressed staff at the start of the school year. We could be satisfied with mediocrity, he said, or we can dream big, work as a team to implement our dreams, and together achieve excellence. And then our building principal said much the same thing today: we can recognize the pool of our individual strengths—and weaknesses—and, going from there, as a team, accomplish great things.

Perhaps as much responsible as anything for my having thought along the lines of TEAM is that the book I'm reading right now is Quiet Strength, a book about Tony Dungy, who coached the Colts to their Super Bowl win. If you know me, you know I'm not much of a football fan, but I bit the dust and bought my own copy of the book so I could review it as a possible gift. A dozen accolades appear at the beginning of the book from the likes of Lovie Smith, personal friend and coach as well, of course, as formidable foe on the field; Ben Carson, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins; Colts owner Jim Irsay, James Brown, Host, The NFL Today; Derrick Brooks, Linebacker for the Buccaneers; and Tony Evans, President of The Urban Alternative. If all I did was read those and look at the three dozen pictures—including one of him with Peyton Manning in 2004, right after Manning made his record-breaking 49th touchdown pass; and before either of them even dreamed of one day taking the field together as part of a Super Bowl-winning team—I figured I would have gotten a good value for my money.

But I'm finding myself reading the entire book. Some of it is over my head, like the picks 'n' drafts 'n' all. Oh—and the plays. But Coach's overall MO made sense. "Whatever it takes; no excuses, no explanations; and do what we do!" Within the context of his integrity, that, I could understand.

TEAM. Together Everyone Achieves More. A good motto for a new season.

Castle Creek
03 - 21 - 19
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