Pink Floyd released its iconic album, The Dark Side of the Moon, forty-eight years ago this month. Considered by many to be one of the greatest concept albums of all time, it still holds the world record for the most weeks charted on the Billboard Top 200.
The Dark Side of the Moon examines the themes of conflict, greed, and time in relationship to mental health. It focuses on what Pink Floyd front man Roger Walters describes in a documentary about the making of the album as elements that “make people mad (crazy)” and the “importance of empathy.”
The album’s title alludes to the once common belief that lunacy—insanity—is connected to the moon’s lunar cycles, with the “dark side” being the most volatile.
While progressive music was the source of The Dark Side of the Moon’s success, at least a portion of the album’s initial popularity stemmed from its unique cover art (pictured above). Designed by Hipgnosis associate George Hardie, the album cover shows a prism refracting a light beam.
Good teammates are a lot like prisms. When light enters a prism, it is transformed into a more pleasing array of beautiful colors. Metaphorically, the same happens to toxicity when it enters a good teammate.
Toxic entities like greed, jealously, and resentment lead most people to complain, criticize, and shift blame—responses that amplify problems and cripple team morale.
Good teammates transform problems into opportunities to grow. Instead of complaining, criticizing, or wasting precious time attempting to shift blame, good teammates concentrate on finding solutions. They turn toxicity into felicity—the state of being happy.
The opening verse of the second track on The Dark Side of the Moon, a song called “Breathe,” contains a line that is pertinent to the art of being a good teammate: Don’t be afraid to care.
The fear of rejection, of being hurt, of being embarrassed, of appearing vulnerable, or of not having actions reciprocated can keep team members from investing in team problems. Good teammates aren’t deterred by these fears because their decisions aren’t governed by fear; they’re guided by love.
When confronted with a problem that threatens their teams’ culture, good teammates become invested in the problem and commit to seeing it resolved. How do they do this? By having the courage to care. They take on problems that discourage others, out of love for their team.
Different colors of light travel at different speeds. Red light travels faster than violet. Orange travels faster than blue. As white light (the presence of all colors) travels through the medium of a prism, the colors are bent at different speeds and a rainbow of colors emerges on the other side. This process is known as the “index of refraction” and is why prisms work.
Just as different colors travel at different speeds so do the solutions to different problems. Some problems take longer to remedy than others. But when placed in the hearts of good teammates, every problem, including those that take the longest to remedy, eventually emerge as something more pleasing.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.