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Turning weakness alone into strength as a team

There’s a reason that the term “team player” is considered a compliment. It’s a coveted quality in sports, on the job, in schools ... just about everywhere. An effective team simply accomplishes more than an individual trying to do it all alone.

To illustrate the power of teamwork in your class, try the following exercise. Give five student volunteers one pencil each and ask them to break the pencil with their hands. This challenge shouldn’t be too tough and will probably be accomplished in a second or two.

Next, ask the students to break a bundle of 15 pencils in the same way. Unless you’re attending school with the Incredible Hulk, it’s not likely to happen. When the demonstration is complete, explain that the single pencil represents a single person, and the bundle represents a team. Lead a discussion about why a team has more strength than a single person. For more ideas for leadership activities and programs, contact FOCUS Training at:

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together. — Vesta Kelly

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SkillsUSA Champions | Summer 2006 | Volume 40, No. 4
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