Through a series of posts, Liz Strauss shares a great interview she conducted with Rajesh Setty, author of Beyond Code: Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps.
In this post, Rajesh makes a simple, yet important point about the links between individual success and the success of one’s teammates.
Let me take a step back. We all know that every team is only as good as its team members. In fact, having a weak team member is like having a weak link in a chain. It can break the whole team or put the team’s success in jeopardy. So, the first step is to remember that it hurts you and your team if you are a weak member of the team. The second thing to remember is that it hurts you (as you are a part of the team) if any member of the team is weak. So it is in your best interest that you grow strong within the team (it helps you and your team) and also ensure that every other team member in the team grows stronger (it helps your team and you in that order)
The rational choice theory from the field of economics suggests that humans use reason to make choices that will best help them achieve their goals. Rajesh uses the reasoning of economics to demonstrate that it is in the best interest of teammates to invest in the growth and development of each other.
It is quite reasonable, even laudable, to help teammates for purely benevolent or altruistic reasons. It is also useful to recognize that helping others to be stronger team members is in one’s own self-interest.