Being the “Fulcrum” of Teamwork

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, a BMW pulled in front of a young man riding a motorcycle near Utah State University. The young man, Brandon Wright, had to lay down his bike in order to avoid hitting the car head-on. Unfortunately, he slid under the car and the motorcycle started on fire. Shortly after the crash, a man emerges and attempts to deadlift the BWM himself to free the young man trapped underneath.

Realizing that he cannot lift the vehicle himself, the man calls upon bystanders to help. Four men and one woman run over to the car and attempt to lift it. This second try does not work.

The man rallies more people to come and help instructing them to tip the car over on its side. Approximately 10 more individuals rush to assist, including a couple of construction laborers working nearby.

Finally after a final effort, the group is able to tip the car over enough so one of the construction workers can grab Brandon’s foot and drag him from the burning wreckage. You can view the complete video footage by clicking HERE.

The gentleman that rallies everyone together to accomplish this rescue serves as a perfect example of what I call the “fulcrum of teamwork.” A fulcrum is an individual that supports capability for action or plays a central or essential role in an activity, event, or situation. Providing the impetus for action and inspiring teamwork is the hallmark of being a leader.

While you will not normally face life or death situations like this one everyday, you can however be the fulcrum of teamwork within your own organization on a daily basis. Leaders are not simply bystanders who wait for things to happen around them. They are strategic, decisive, and act quickly to create results. It takes courage to be the fulcrum of teamwork, and if practiced enough, it can become a habit.

What are some other notable examples of the “fulcrum of teamwork” that you can share? Likewise, what are some personal examples in which you were the “fulcrum of teamwork” with your own organization?

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