The Law of the Big Picture

The one thing you need to know about teamwork is that there is more than one thing you need to know about teamwork.
— John Maxwell

If you are looking to achieve a big success in your Minneapolis business, these blogs hold the leadership coaching keys. In these blogs, I’m sharing with you the ideas of John Maxwell’s best-selling book, “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.”  Maxwell shows, through his laws, that teamwork makes the fulfillment of big dreams possible.

The Law of the Big Picture

The Goal is More Important Than the Role


In a society that heaps accolades on people who win individual gold medals and where people battle for rights instead of coming together to take responsibility, a person is inclined to miss the big picture. In fact, some people give the impression that they think they are the whole picture. Everything turns on their wishes, their ambitions, and their wants.

A team isn’t meant to be a collection of people being exploited by one person for self-seeking profit. Team participants must have jointly advantageous common targets. They must be inspired to act collectively, not be controlled by someone for personal triumph. Someone who is used to bringing together people and directing them to advance his own agenda isn’t a team builder, she’s a tyrant.

If you desire to see team forces at work, look at the venue of sports where you can clearly see when people are cooperating with each other. The result of a game is fast and quantifiable. That is why it’s simple to see when a player is acting only for his own glory and not pursuing the common aims and ideals of the team.

For sports wins, team members must certainly hold the big picture in the fore. They must bear in mind that the target is more important than their part – or any singular stardom they may crave. NBA superstar Kobe Bryant stated, “I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.” That’s team spirit.

It’s Entirely About the Team


The highly-praised football coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, remarked, “There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”

Some sports teams appear to hold the mentality of everyone for themselves. Others intertwine thoughts of subservience and joint effort into all their actions. Take, for instance the college football teams of Penn State and Notre Dame. They don’t put the names of the players on their jerseys to emphasize that the players are part of a team more than they are individual forces.

Successful teams have players who position the team’s well-being in front of their own. They like to play in their sweet spot, but they’re willing to sacrifice to lift up the team. That’s the Law of the Big Picture at work.

Perceiving the Big Picture

A person who forms a winning team always remembers that each individual on the team has a position to play, and each position supports the big picture. Vince Lombardi, coach of the Super-Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, said, “Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Leaders at the uppermost level appreciate the Law of the Big Picture. They persistently work at holding the concept of the big picture in front of themselves and their people. That’s the kind of approach it takes to build and maintain a team. Says John Maxwell, “It takes courage and resolve to recognize that the goal is more important than the role.” It’s huge when a person puts aside his own desires for the good of the team.

Often teamwork involves letting go of professional fulfillment, personal goals or one’s own fame. But the rewards are worth it. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships,” reflects Michael Jordan.

How Do You Become a Big Picture Team?

So, how do people begin to become a big picture team? How do individual persons change from solo, self-reliant people to team players? It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes time. Here is a set of points to get the process started.

1.See the Big Picture


Reaching a big goal starts with a vision. With a vision, there is something for a team to rally around. If all the individuals in a group adopt the big picture, then they have the capability to turn into a valuable team.

Leaders customarily embrace the role of catching and conveying vision. They perceive it first and then assist everyone else in understanding it. Individuals on a team will let go of their personal goals and will work in partnership only if they are able to see what they are sacrificing for.

If you are the leader of a team, your job is to paint the big picture for your people. With a vision, they will find the willpower to achieve the goal.

2. Assess the Situation

One purpose of grasping the big picture is that it assists you in admitting how far you are from actually realizing it. For an individual resolved to achieve a goal alone, seeing the distance between where they are and where they want to be can be daunting. But for team builders, seeing the magnitude of the undertaking doesn’t faze them. They relish the challenge. They are eager to bring together a team and a map to carry out the vision. That’s the outlook of a team leader!

3. Arrange for Necessary Resources

Resources are arrows to reach the target. It matters little what type of team a person is on. A team is able to make progress only with the assistance of the fitting equipment, facilities, funds, etc. – whatever the goal is. The better the resources, the fewer disruptions the players will have as they move toward their target.

4. Invite the Right Players

Who you invite to the team makes all the difference. You can have a definite vision, a particular strategy, enough resources and extraordinary leadership, but if you don’t have the appropriate people, the goal won’t be reached. You can lose with the right players, but you cannot win with the wrong ones.


5. Surrender Individual Plans

Teams that win have players who frequently ask themselves, “What’s the greatest good I can do for the team?” They consistently put aside their own plans for the best of the team. Their legacy can be found in the words of basketball player turned politician, Bill Bradley, “We realized no one of us could be as good as all of us playing unselfishly."

6. Rise to a Greater Level

Only when players unite and put aside their own plans can a team rise to a greater level. Teamwork requires that kind of sacrifice. "To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless," reveals winning college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Players who think of the team first get the big picture.

Be a Better Team Member

Do you have a goal that is bigger than you are? At this time, are you involved in something grander than yourself? If you are not, take some time alone to consider your dreams and priorities. If you are attempting to pull off something huge, ask yourself what you are willing to do to realize it. Are you willing to take a subservient role, if needed, for the good of the team aim? If so, you are a benefit to the team.

Be a Better Team Leader

Reflect on a team you are part of at this time. Do the team members understand the big picture? Do they have a good attitude about the big picture? Are they team players who are able to take subordinate roles, if necessary, for the team to succeed?

Start to encourage a team attitude in your people by exhibiting a willingness to serve the greater good of the target. Publicly reward team play. And honor people who sacrifice for the goal.

stephen Crawford