Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

“You’re like that stubborn mule who moves forward when you want her to back up and backs up when you want her to move forward.” This was a recent remark about my contrarian mindset by a long time friend who is one of the few privy to my deepest nature. Indeed, I’ve often dealt with social pressure to go along with a group by digging in my heels and doing the opposite of what’s desired just because I find social pressure odious. I’ve managed to stifle this part of myself at work so successfully that I can’t think of anyone who would suspect that I’m not the “cooperative team player” type. Due to the social undesirability issue, it takes guts to admit this as bloggers like Bruce Byfield noted. However, as his blog post explains, when you dig deep and think about how weaknesses are also strengths it becomes evident that there really is an appropriate place, a role, for each and every person in the world of work… even if you’re not a cooperative team player!

Also, check out what these other writers have to say on this subject!

I’m Not a Good Team Player… And That’s a Good Thing

Why hearing “you are not a team player” isn’t such a bad thing

It’s Okay Not Being a Team Player

Off the Wall

OK, I confess: I am not a team player – at least, not in the sense that the expression is usually used around an office.

This admission is so burdened with nasty connotations that finding the courage to make it has taken most of my adult life. Nobody ever says so in as many words, but the implication is that something is wrong with you if you are not a team player.

In an office setting, not being a team player means that you are uncooperative, unwilling to make sacrifices for the sake of the company for which you work, and probably first in line to be fired. It suggests that something is deeply wrong with you, and that maybe you have other nasty habits as well.

In many ways, the usage reminds me of the admonition by a crowd to be a good sport. In both cases, the implication…

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