There's No "I" in TEAM

I'm on a committee to help put together a conference for Trans* Youth.  At this point in my life, I've served on lots of committees.  I've helped to put together benefits (small and large), to arrange conferences, to run shows, to put together weddings, suffice to say, I've done a lot of planning with other people.  It's taken me a long time to get to the point where I appreciate working with other people.  For a very long time, I was such a loner and so single-minded, that I felt I should just plan and do everything  myself.  But now, having worked alone and on committees, I find that committees, while a little more cumbersome, are much better.  Why?  Because the more people contributing to putting an event together, the more ideas and the more ways to share the burden of executing those ideas.

Today I was at a meeting with a loner, a rogue agent who seems to esteem herself as THE person who can put together a trans* event in the state of New Jersey, possibly even the East Coast.  Her grandiosity began early.  We were asked to go around and introduce ourselves, name, pronouns and favorite color.  When it got to her turn, she went on. And on.  And on about her resume.  She's apparently on many, many boards of directors and committees all having to do with being trans*, being in the medical field, and/or being Filipino.  Having steered off the rails of what the intro was meant to be, she set a precedent and everyone after her also rattled off their resumes.  Deep breath in and out for Pandora.

Then, after the person co-running the meeting explained the event we were about to start brainstorming, this same woman, the "I" woman, came out with an objection to the very essence of the event.  In fact, she objected that the event be solely about youth since there are many people who are not youth who are also trans*.  No doubt, I thought.  Then she proceeded to talk endlessly about how all the organizations in NJ are working in silos and she's only interested in working on projects that are completely inclusive.  And then she specifically targeted this event as being 'exclusive.'  Which is kind of just means "you're being bad" in this context.  Deep breath in and out for Pandora.

She monopolized 60 minutes of a two hour meeting with this question of whether or not to include (and how to include) adults in this conference.  It was alternately infuriating, boring, a total waste of my time (and, I assume, others), disrespectful and bizarre.  Had I been running the meeting, I would have put the kaibosh on that line of conversation at the 10 minute mark.  As it was, I finally said, about 55 minutes in, "Look, if you want to put together a comprehensive Trans* Conference for thousands of people, we'll be happy to run the Youth part of it.  But for now, what we are focusing on is youth and that's what I came here to support."  And to this she essentially said, "Well then, I can't be a part of this."  And then she stayed for the rest of the meeting.  Another big breath in and out for Pandora.

So, as you can tell by now, I'm writing partially to rant.  Now that I've got my rant off, I think I can speak a bit more cogently about my topic, which is simple.  There truly is no "I" in the concept of "TEAM."  If we are a democratically run committee, which we are - which most of the committees I run are, then there just is no "I."  It doesn't matter if you bring 10 donuts to the table and someone else brings just 3 donuts to the table.  It doesn't matter if more of my ideas are used than anyone else's.  It's still not an "I" endeavor.  And not only is there no "I" in "TEAM."  But there is no ROOM for an "I" in "TEAM."  If someone is just thinking about aggrandizing their own vision, they need to be CEO of something or President of something and have people to work FOR them.  There may be no "I" in "CEO" either, but if you add one and rearrange the letters, you get "EGO."  

It's not that loners and rogue agents don't do great things, they can.  Just not in tandem with groups of people trying to work cooperatively.  I'm baffled by this woman's behavior and I think she should start a not-for-profit of her own.  She would probably run the hell out of it!  

Rant over.

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