One Band, One Sound – The Essence of Teamwork

I was geeked! As I sat in the darkened theater sipping my Coca-Cola and munching on my buttered popcorn, I felt the excitement flowing through me as I awaited the showing of the 20th Century Fox movie “Drumline”. I sat back in my seat and became swept away by the sounds, moves and competition in the film. I enjoyed a stress-free and entertaining afternoon watching Nick Cannon, Orlando Jones, Leonard Roberts, Zoe Saldana, Jason Weaver, and J. Anthony Brown demonstrate what life is like for a kid “who marches to the beat of his own drum” fit into an environment that required he march to the same beat as his team.

It took a moment for Nick Cannon to connect to the “one band, one sound” philosophy of his marching band. As a matter of fact, it took for his character to be removed from the marching band before he realized that the essence of the “one band, one sound” philosophy was really all about teamwork.

I got a big kick out of that movie! It was a feel good film that not only entertained, yet taught some great lessons, too. I walked away from “Drumline” internalizing the “one band, one sound” philosophy. It made such an impact on me that I recorded it in my journal back in 2005 and now I focus my article on it today.

“One band, one sound” was a clever way to demonstrate to all of us the importance and benefits of teamwork. It can be applied to any and every situation where teamwork is essential in our lives.

“One band, one sound” reminds us that teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively to achieve a desired goal.

“One band, one sound” illuminates the importance of the following characteristics that must be present for teamwork to operate successfully, such as:

1) Vision

2) Communication skills

3) Listening skills

4) Initiative

5) Support

6) Focus

7) Trust

8) Collaboration

9) Respect

Vision is needed in order to move our teams from where they are to where we want them to be. Understanding the vision of our team, company or project helps us shift into gear and complete our necessary tasks in order to manifest our dreams into reality.

Communication skills allow our teams to convey information that is easily received and understood. Sharing ideas, providing opinions and giving feedback provides us a chance to state our message so that it is clearly received by our fellow team members.

Listening skills are important because they allow us to show genuine interest in what’s communicated. Whether we inform, update, instruct, demonstrate, or acknowledge, listening skills actively engage us to our teams which in turn helps us to be more connected to the team’s vision.

Initiative is the energy that moves our teams forward and allows the strengths and skills of individual team members to become apparent to the team as a whole. Support provides the assistance our team members give to each other that helps to build bonds within our teams. Focus is necessary to streamline energy and effort of team members toward the ultimate vision of our team, project or company.

Trust helps team members to release inhibitions and openly communicate with one another. It is the motivation behind teams moving forward on one accord. Collaboration connects our team members to each other for a common goal. When trust and vision are present, collaboration joins us together to produce positive results for the team.

Respect carries our teams through challenges and conflicts. It provides us with “an objective, unbiased consideration and regard for the rights, values, beliefs and property” of our team members. No matter if there are personality conflicts or time challenges, respect for each other and the goal of our team helps us to be “one band, one sound”.

Susan M. Heathfield, human resources author with states that “teamwork is something that you do every single day.”

I agree. What we must consider is that not only are the above characteristics necessary for effective teamwork and not only do we do teamwork everyday; but, we must remember to maintain the “one band, one sound” philosophy by:

o Providing on-going training to teach our teams systematic methods for expending energy on a project, task or duty;

o Conducting regular team meetings to review the progress of our projects;

o Holding fun events in addition to business meetings as a way to promote positive connections amongst our team members; and

o Celebrating the success of our teams in public – for others to know and see.

It’s not easy to work with those who are different from you, especially when there are personality conflicts. As was displayed in the movie “Drumline”, personalities can play a part in keeping team members apart. Yet, those differences can also serve as the hidden power to effective teamwork.

Just keep in mind, even though personalities may clash and differences may exist, as long as vision, communication skills, listening skills, initiative, support, focus, trust, collaboration, and respect are present, team members will become “one band, one sound”.


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