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Rolling On A Highway

car-trafficThe majority of us drive on an interstate or some type of highway a few times a week or more. On a three lane highway, ever notice the impact of someone who is driving a car in the center lane, yet, at a reduced speed of ten to fifteen MPH less than the speed limit which may have them clocked at twenty to twenty five MPH less than the majority of traffic? The impact is almost always an accident waiting to happen. The left lane is constantly flowing past this car in a steady stream of vehicles. The right lane has cars lining up to pass as well only slightly less organized and flowing than the left lane.

Meanwhile the three, four or five cars directly behind the center lane driver are feeling stuck as they came upon this unexpectedly and now feel trapped not able to readily get into the left lane to pass or the right lane to sneak by as well.

All of this is an accident waiting to happen and what makes matters worse is the driver in the center lane taking their time and driving along has absolutely no idea! They have no clue or awareness of the havoc they wreak out on the road behind them.

If the picture is not clear from the example of the driver, consider the crew team rowing in their shell. In a practice session or in a race each stroke must be in synch with everyone else’s stroke. The style and execution of the stroke must be the same. Any disruption to this timed team effort will cost them time and knock speed off their progress.

In many ways this is what happens to a team when there is one person who is not pulling their weight or not choosing to fit in with the team. They begin to become a burden to everyone else on the team. The team may need to sidestep around them and their assigned tasks or roles on a project in order to complete their assigned goals.

Depending upon the severity and the cost to the team and the business, these individuals must be dealt with. There is a possibility working regularly with an Executive Coach may create the change necessary to salvage a team mate. It is a disservice to the rest of the members of the team and to the offending person not to address the issue.

This is a fact which transcends the size of an organization.

The truth as stated by John C. Maxwell: “Team Work, Makes The Dream Work”.

Mitch Tublin is a business consultant and an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.

Have someone who needs to become a better team player? >> Contact Mitch Tublin Here <<



  1. I just had a discussion this week at Ali’s RePower workshop with someone who feels as if she is being “held back” by a team member. Good advice here.

  2. This is so true, Mitch. Great analogy. It is interesting how one person not working up to speed can drag down everyone around them.

  3. Very good analogy, Mitch. It’s a real challenge to get everyone on a team pulling their weight which is why your suggestion of bringing in an executive coach is such a great idea. It takes it of the other team members and puts it on the coach to see if this person is up to the challenge or in need of replacement.

  4. Mitch, I actually used to cover the crew teams for the college paper at Cornell. I was amazed by the rhythm and synchronicity of it all. No room for slackers on those teams!

  5. Mitch, great article. This happens all too often and your analogy is right on. I agree that one person is all it takes to ruin it for everyone. This emphasizes the importance of effectively leading every single person and addressing issues head on.