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Among Co-Workers

 

Committees

A secretary burst into the office of a Detroit executive on May 21, 1927, and cried, “Mr. Murphy, a man has just flown from New York to Paris all by himself.” When her employer continued to work calmly, she cried out, “Don’t you understand? A man has just flown the Atlantic all by himself!”

Then Murphy looked up. “All by himself, a man can do anything,” he said quietly. “When a committee flies the Atlantic, let me know.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Cooperation

During a hike in the woods a troop of Boy Scouts came across an abandoned section of railroad track. Each boy in turn tried walking the rails but eventually lost his balance and tumbled off. Two boys, after considerable whispering, suddenly offered to bet that they could both walk the entire length of the track without falling off. Challenged to make good their boast, the two boys jumped up on opposite rails, extended a hand to balance each other, and walked the entire section of track with no difficulty whatever. That in a nutshell is the principle of Christian living. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Teamwork

Bear Bryant, former head football coach at Alabama and one of the greatest football coaches of all time, was once interviewed after it was announced that only one player from his team had been named as an All-American. Bryant was asked if he was disappointed. He answered that he was and then stated that since his goal was always team effort, either all of his team should be All-American or none should be. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Teamwork

During the 1960 Olympics, defending gold medallist Al Oerter and teammate Rink Babka were expected to take the gold and silver medal in the discus throw. Although Babka was very ill the night before the competition he beat his teammate in the first four throws. On the fifth throw Oerter stepped into the circle, spun around, and threw the discus farther than any other that day. He had snatched victory from defeat and won the gold medal, while Babka took the silver. What no one knew until later was that Babka had noticed and pointed out a flaw in Oerter’s teachnique during the fourth throw. A small adjustment was all Oerter needed, and it cost Babka the gold medal. Babka was not the winner that year, but no one could call him a loser. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

COOPERATION

Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous Polish composer-painist, was once scheduled to perform at a great American concert hall for a high-society extravaganza. In the audience was a mother with her fidgety nine-year-old son. Weary of waiting, the boy slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the Steinway on the stage. Without much notice from the audience, he sat down at the stool and began playing "chopsticks." The roar of the crowd turned to shouts as hundreds yelled, "Get that boy away from there!" When Paderewski heard the uproar backstage, he grabbed his coat and rushed over behind the boy. Reaching around him from behind, the master began to improvise a countermelody to "Chopsticks." As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy's ear, "Keep going. Don't quit, son...don't stop...don't stop." 

Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p.8.


Charles Osgood told the story of two ladies who lived in a convalescent center. Each had suffered an incapacitating stroke. Margaret's stroke left her left side restricted, while Ruth's stroke damaged her right side. Both of these ladies were accomplished pianists but had given up hope of ever playing again. The director of the center sat them down at a piano and encouraged them to play solo pieces together. They did, and a beautiful friendship developed. What a picture of the church's need to work together! What one member cannot do alone, perhaps two or more could do together--in harmony. 

Don Higginbotham.

 

TEAMWORK

Exodus 20:16  Psalm 50:20
We have only one person to blame, and that's each other.  

Barry Beck of the New York Rangers, on who started a brawl during the NHL's1997 Stanley Cup playoffs.


There's a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn't mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show's director agreed happily. But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes. Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage someone stopped him and said, "I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?"

Jimmy answered, "I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you'll look down on the front row." In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that's exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully. 

Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 104-105.


Bees can show you something about teamwork. On a warm day about half the bees in a hive stay inside beating their wings while the other half go out to gather pollen and nectar. Because of the beating wings, the temperature inside the hive is about 10 degrees cooler than outside. The bees rotate duties and the bees that cool the hive one day are honey gatherers the next. 

Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, p. 19-20.


It's those stately geese I find especially impressive. Winging their way to a warmer climate, they often cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Have you ever studied why they fly as they do? It is fascinating to read what has been discovered about their flight pattern as well as their in-flight habits. Four come to mind.

1. Those in front rotate their leadership. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point.
2. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. One author states that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock gets 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own.
3. When one goose gets sick or wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it's able to fly again.
4. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. I suppose it's their way of announcing that they're following and that all is well. For sure, the repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it. As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it's rotating, flapping, helping, or simply honking, the flock is in it together...which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do. 

Chuck Swindoll, letter, October, 1991.


The next time a committee is appointed and the committee names several task forces to do its job, think of this story: To highlight its annual picnic one year, a company rented two racing shells and challenged a rival company to a boat race. The rival company accepted. On the day of the picnic, everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Women wore colorful summer dresses and big, floppy hats. Men wore straw skimmers and white pants. Bands played and banners waved. Finally the race began. To the consternation of the host company, the rival team immediately moved to the front and was never headed. It won by 11 lengths. The management of the host company was embarrassed by its showing and promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team's chances in a rematch the following year. The committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race. They met for three months and issued a preliminary report. In essence, the report said that the rival crew had been unfair.

"They had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beat," the report said. "We had one person rowing and eight coxswains." The chairman of the board thanked the committee and sent it away to study the matter further and make recommendations for the rematch. Four months later the committee came back with a recommendation: "Our guy has to row faster." 

Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 5-6.


I'm just a plowhand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they've got one heartbeat together, a team.  There's just three things I'd ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you.  

Bear Bryant.


Every year in Alaska, a 1000-mile dogsled race, a run for prize money and prestige, commemorates an original "race" run to save lives. Back in January of 1926, six-year-old Richard Stanley showed symptoms of diphtheria, signaling the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome. When the boy passed away a day later, Dr. Curtis Welch began immunizing children and adults with an experimental but effective anti-dipheheria serum. But it wasn't long before Dr. Welch's supply ran out, and the nearest serum was in Nenana, Alaska--1000 miles of frozen wilderness away. Amazingly, a group of trappers and prospectors volunteered to cover the distance with their dog teams! Operating in relays from trading post to trapping station and beyond, one sled started out from Nome while another, carrying the serum, started from Nenana. Oblivious to frostbite, fatigue, and exhaustion, the teamsters mushed relentlessly until, after 144 hours in minus 50-degree winds, the serum was delivered to Nome. As a result, only one other life was lost to the potential epidemic. Their sacrifice had given an entire town the gift of life.

Source Unknown.