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Value #8: Teamwork

Mutual self-supportiveness is the only way to accomplish great things.

The emphasis remains on the individuals in a team, supporting other
No one can change the world on her own. Even Atlas Shrugged, what is
considered by many as the opus of individualism, is a story about our
reliance on others. When John Galt decides to stop the motor of the
world, he builds a movement. He recruits other individuals to join his
cause, to work with him in building a new world. Galts heroism comes
from his ability to organize.
This is especially true at Students For Liberty. No individual operates in
a vacuum. We rely upon others to succeed in our endeavors to
advance liberty, and others rely upon each of us.
There is no contradiction between valuing teamwork and individual
autonomy. They are complementary values. Respecting individual
autonomy lays the groundwork by which people can collaborate as a
team with one another. It is the conceptual alternative to slave-like
dependence or masochistic self-sacrifice approaches to interactions
with others.
Teamwork means mutual self-supportiveness. The individual is primary.
We support others to help them fulfill their full potential and we work
with others to realize our own potential. In working as a team, we work
as individuals.
Students For Liberty is a team. We are (a) a close group of individuals
who are (b) striving toward a common goal, that (c) care about and
support one another beyond the pursuit of that goal. None of these
facets can be removed without undermining SFLs team dynamic. The
overriding reason that we are brought together as a group is to achieve
SFLs vision of a freer future. As such, that is the ultimate standard by
which decisions must be made. However, we must also remember that
we are more than a group of contractors or collaborators indifferent to
the circumstances of our colleagues. We support one another both in
our pursuit of a freer future as a team and in our personal pursuits
beyond SFLs purpose.
The ideal of teamwork is objectivity. This may seem counterintuitive at
first because teamwork seems to involve subjectivity on its face;
working with others requires interpersonal understanding. In
supporting and being supported by others, we must consider the
subjectivity relationships. But the closer we can strive toward

objectivity guiding decisions, actions, and our worldview the easier it is

to facilitate relationships with others, especially across a sprawling
organization. Data rather than intuition and reasoned analysis rather
than opinion provide a predictable framework for decisionmaking and
action that applies beyond oneself.
Here are some ways to instantiate the value of teamwork:
1. Collaborate with others to produce value. Find opportunities to
provide someone else with value that they need to excel rather
than doing work for them. Ask others to work with you by adding
discrete value to your projects rather than excluding them or
having them do the work for you.
2. Meet your own expectations. When you take on responsibilities in
SFL, others depend upon you to fulfill them. They are not taking
the actions necessary to meet those responsibilities because
they expect you to do so. One of the best ways to engage in
teamwork is to meet your own expectations so others dont have
to be concerned or strive to do so for you.
3. Be honest (in general, but especially) with others when they are
not meeting expectations & do something to ensure those
expectations are met moving forward. Sweeping problems under
the rug does nobody any good, including the person who is
causing the problems you ignore. If expectations are not being
met, work with the person responsible to create a way to meet
them moving forward, even if that means shifting the
responsibilities to someone else.
4. Think about the entire Students For Liberty team. SFL includes
over 2,800 student groups, 1,400 volunteer leaders, and tens of
thousands of students who are part of the SFL network. Each
individual is important to the success and future of SFL. The
needs, desires, and opinions of ourselves and our closest friends
in SFL matter. However, they may not line up with the objectively
best interests of the organization.
Students For Liberty is a team working to create a freer future. We best
support the team when we support one another as individuals. And by
working together, we can change the world.