Many people think that the only way to get ahead in the workplace is through reliance on themselves to put in the hard graft. This is a trait often be seen in senior individuals, particularly females who believe they have had to fight against stereotypes to get to where they are. I am of the opinion, however, that contributing to the development of others around you and working collaboratively to a greater goal than individual achievement breeds a philanthropic type of success that can drive a variety of rewards from profitability to personal well-being.
An important part of my role as CEO is to ensure that we build and sustain a teamworking culture because success is something rarely achieved alone. Even the notion of 'being successful' largely relies on the perception of others. The success of my company doesn't just depend on the effort that I put into every working day, but the effort and passion that the whole team brings into the office every morning. I'm reminded of the importance of teamwork even more now, having just been shortlisted for the First Women Awards, in association with Lloyd's Banking Group because without them, I would not be eligible for such a prestigious award.
I am used to going out of my comfort zone in my work life, but applying this to my personal endeavours can take a little more persuasion. However last year, City attire (and dignity) shed, I donned what can only be described as a lycra onesie and wobbled around on a bike for my share of 2013 laps of a velodrome in support of a very worthwhile charity.
So what did it take to encourage a balance-challenged CEO to take on this mean feat? The other team members. Without their enthusiasm and encouragement during every lap, I would have struggled to get on the bike, let alone complete all my laps.
The reason for this analogy is not to share with you my lack of sporting capability but to demonstrate just how important those around you are when it comes to life's challenges, from the small, everyday hurdles to the seemingly-impassable mountains.
It's important to remember that the success of a team isn't just about the headline achievements such as contract wins and expectations exceeded. Individual team members gain so much more in terms of personal development and pride, which usually lasts so much longer then the business effects of the work carried out. It can build a sense of achievement and career satisfaction that is often a more important motivator in the workplace than financial incentives.
While there is 'No I in Team', sometimes it can be worth looking at the individuals too. Companies are only as good as their employees and watching our young recruits develop in a company that places such an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration is a real pleasure as their strengths, enthusiasm and abilities really shine through in this environment.
So, be thankful for the teams you are part of, both at work and at home. They bring so much more than a helping hand to get the job done, the support, growth and learning that comes with being a team member is something to be held on to.
Joanne Smith is shortlisted for the 2014 First Women Awards.
The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 12 June and is hosted by Real Business in association with Lloyds Banking Group.