When you work with people for a significant amount of time, you not only become a real team but, you become friends. You get to know the nuances of each team members character and you learn to blend your strengths with theirs. They help to balance your weakness and you do the same for them. It becomes an unspoken rule that you have each others’ back and treat each other with the utmost respect because you have developed a real bond at your job.
But, unfortunately, teams change. Members of the group that you have come to know and admire often move on causing the dynamic in the team to become drastically altered. People tend to cling to the familiar faces expecting them to be their closest allies but that is not always the case. The feeling of working together suddenly changes and it now feels like you are working for the team and not with the team.
When the faces of the group are substantially different, there is usually a member of the original group that will try to use that reality to their advantage. Any allegiance that existed has been replaced by their valiant effort to get ahead and shine brighter than the other employees. They insinuate themselves into the role of the “a-hole” and become the only “i” in the word team.
I have met many of these “i” people. Usually the ones who had assumed this new identity shocked and disappointed me. We had worked well together but when the opportunity of advancement presented itself they didn’t think twice about using me as a wrung on the ladder of their ultimate success.
I’m happy I was able to move beyond those people. I didn’t dwell on their negative traits but focused solely on my positive traits and moved forward. I chose to enjoy the hours I spend at work with a new team that appreciated my contributions. I chose to be a part of a group where I could thrive and where my efforts would not be a stepping stone for that one person who didn’t know how to properly define or spell the word team.