This year, Father’s Day fell on my wife’s birthday. We wanted to celebrate the occasions jointly by doing something out of the ordinary, like witnessing a “majestic” sight.
We couldn’t decide which would be more majestic: watching a beach sunrise or a beach sunset. So we decided to try to see both—on the same day.
There are only a handful of places in the world where doing this is possible without getting on a plane, our home state of Florida being one of them. We woke up in the predawn hours, sat on a dark beach, and watched the sunrise on the Atlantic coast. We then hopped into our car, drove west, and enjoyed a few hours of beach time before watching the sunset on the Gulf coast.
The experience was truly majestic and one that we will remember for many years to come.
When I was a kid, my grandmother had a bronze statue on her mantel. The statue was similar to James Earle Fraser’s iconic “End of the Trail” sculpture in that it depicted an exhausted Native American warrior slumped over a declining, weary horse.
A corresponding statue resided on the mantel at my aunt’s house, only hers depicted an invigorated Native American warrior perched atop a rearing, energetic horse. My aunt’s statue was titled “Sunrise” and my grandmother’s “Sunset.”
I always thought those two pieces illustrated the bookends of a noble day. The more I study the art of being a good teammate, the more I realize they illustrate the daily journey of a good teammate.
Like the warrior in my aunt’s statue, good teammates rise each morning, ready to attack the day with enthusiasm. They may not know what challenges await them, but they are excited to serve the needs of their team.
Good teammates don’t begrudgingly ease into their day. They aren’t bitter. They aren’t still holding onto the yesterday’s baggage. They aren’t grouchy until they “get their coffee.”
Good teammates are, quite literally, raring to go. Why? Because that is the type of selfless, enthusiastic approach that their team needs.
As much as the “Sunrise” statue illustrates the start of a good teammate’s day, the “Sunset” statue may illustrate an even more accurate ending. Good teammates put their all into serving their teams’ needs. They expunge every ounce of their energy, effort, and enthusiasm. They exhaust themselves—for their teams.
Their endings should be interpreted as depleted, not defeated. This distinction explains why good teammates are able to go to bed with a clear conscience. They know they fought the good fight, withheld nothing in doing so, and accept the impending need to do it all over again the tomorrow.
Good teammates sleep soundly, rise enthusiastically, and fight courageously. Their cycle reminds us that it is impossible to defeat someone who never gives up. You might say, good teammates never let the sun set on their devotion to their team.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.