The Power of Teamwork: My Personal Journey

The Power of Teamwork: My Personal Journey

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”      – Patrick Lencioni


If you ask me what is the single most important thing that I’ve learned during my 35-year career, I would have no hesitation in offering my answer without any doubts what so ever … it’s the power of teamwork!

Think about it seriously, of all the resources you need to run a company, i.e. technology, knowledge, strategy, and teamwork, the most powerful, yet (almost) free, and obviously underrated of them all is TEAMWORK. But, amazingly, few companies have even try to harness this most potent energy from their workforce. Why in the world is this the case?

The answer is quite simple. While it’s easy to explain teamwork concepts to anyone in less than 5 minutes, it’s very difficult to put into practice day-in and day-out. You see, good teamwork requires everyone from leaders to followers alike to resist all our too humanistic behaviors detrimental to good teamwork. And that’s not an easy thing to do.

My first interest in team-building was when I was still a young student at the age of 15. The hospital where my mother, a physician, worked for was arranging for an excursion to bolster teamwork among their staff members including doctors, nurses, and support personnel. And you would think doctors and nurses are really good in working as teams.

Apparently, that was not the case at all. After looking around, the management could not find someone to come to facilitate the team-building workshops designed as an important part of the trip. So, as an only son of the Head of the Obstrectic – Gynecology Department (my mother), they asked me to help them. I was so excited to do this but, at the age 15, I really had no clues of how to get my mission accomplished. That’s when I turned to my father, a doctor, professor, and a Consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), who was very knowledgeable of the subject for help. One day after work, he gave me a book titled “101 Team-Building Activities” and the rest, as they say, is history.

From that day on, that young man has never looked back. Like  Mr. Johnnie Walker, he “keeps walking” on and on…

Throughout my career, I’ve seen many organizations and projects starting off with best intentions and processes, only to be completely undone by poor teamwork during planning and implementation phase. To give you a real example, when I was first appointed “Field Superintendent” responsible for production operations of oil & gas offshore facilities, I first noticed marked difference between two crews working a 2-week shift in term of work output and performance.

It didn’t take me long to figure out the root cause. The 2 crews lacked communication and trust as some of them had not even met their counterparts in person. It’s very hard to trust someone you’ve never met before, isn’t it? So, I’ve started to organize annual team-building trips to allow the 2 shifts to meet, socialize, and communicate face-to face along with their families at a resort away from the workplace.

The results were nothing less than phenomenal. Teamwork, communication, and especially trust was improved beyond belief. In fact, this get-together were the most eagerly awaited events for our employees and their immediate families. Pretty soon, all other producing fields were holding similar offsite team-building events to foster teamwork among their employees as standard practice.

So now I’ve let you in on the secret: the great power of teamwork. What are you waiting for?

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in unlocking and unleashing the astonishing power of teamwork in your workplace.

NOTE: if you’re really interested in harnessing the true power of teamwork for your team/organization, the Mentor Group International (TMG) is now offering one-stop team-building organizing services to fit your purpose, number of staff, theme, and budget.

Please call Pich Piyaratn at (089) 968-7060 or email me at for more details. I really want to help!