Twenty years ago, I had tickets to see Elton John in concert, but I never made it to the show. I got caught up with work and gave my tickets away—a decision I have long regretted.
I always told myself I would catch him the next time. However, the next time came and went, and so did the one after that, as did the one after that. Numerous next times passed without me attending an Elton John concert.
When it was announced last fall that he would be doing his “final” farewell tour, I decided I needed to right the wrong and put an end to my regret. I bought tickets to a show that was supposed to take place last week. Much to my disappointment, that Elton John show—like many other large gatherings—was postponed. (Curse you, COVID-19!)
Elton John turned 73 in March. The reality is that I may be running out of next times. I am hoping a make-up date happens and I finally get to see him perform live. Perhaps as a way of subconsciously coping with my disappointment, I’ve been incessantly listening to Elton John songs ever since the postponement was announced.
My favorite Elton John song is “Your Song.” I’m particularly fond of a line in its refrain: How wonderful life is when you’re in the world. To me, that line illustrates precisely what it feels like to have a good teammate.
The presence of good teammates creates psychological safety, which allows us to express our thoughts, be creative, and show vulnerability without the fear of ridicule or retribution. Good teammates free us of stressful confines and facilitate happiness. Having them on our team genuinely makes for a wonderful life.
Of course, true fans know that Elton John didn’t write that line. It was written by Bernie Taupin, his longtime lyricist partner. Having collaborated on over 30 albums, they are by far the most successful songwriting duo in the history of pop music.
Bernie Taupin and Elton John epitomize the word teammates. Their success is propelled by a potpourri of mutual respect, admiration, and unwavering commitment. Their talents are complimentary, making them a perfect example of synergy.
“Your Song” was Elton John’s first big hit. His top grossing hit is “Candle in the Wind.” Ironically, those two songs address the most compelling aspects of being part of a team. “Your Song” details the joy of being around good teammates. “Candle in the Wind” details the horror of being surrounded by bad teammates.
Letting your guard down is impossible around bad teammates. Psychological safety is nonexistent. Bad teammates leave you feeling isolated, never knowing who to cling to when the rain sets in.
Elton’s John biopic, Rocketman, ends with Taron Egerton, who portrays Elton John, singing “I’m Still Standing.” Maybe that’s an appropriate way to end this blog, as it is often the marching anthem/mantra of a good teammate. When adversity strikes, good teammates are the ones still standing. They aren’t deterred by setbacks and they never abandon their team.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.