Team Role FAQs: Undertaking Any Team Role
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Team Role FAQs: Undertaking Any Team Role

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Is it really true that anyone can undertake any team role. Surely, I’m better at some than others, so I should just concentrate on the ones I’m better at?

For some people, that is probably true. But it is not true for everyone. In some circumstances, people can be successful and find fulfillment using just a few roles. But in other circumstances, team and individual success demands a high degree of flexibility and the use of multiple roles. It varies according to the situation - there is no single formula that applies to all teams and all individuals in all circumstances.
This can be illustrated using the analogy of ‘acting’, to which the word ‘role’ is closely related. Any actor can undertake any role (within the constraints of certain specific requirements, such as gender). But each actor may prefer or be better at some roles more than others. For example, Christopher Lee excels as a villain (eg: The Man with the Golden Gun) or Sir John Gielgud as the English gentleman (eg: Chariots of Fire).

However, some actors have the flexibility to play many different roles, and to speak with many different accents. Eg: Merryl Streep spoke with a Jewish accent in Sophie’s Choice, and a South African accent in Out of Africa. Ben Kingsley’s accent to imitate Gandhi was so accurate that when listening to recordings he had made, others were unable to distinguish which recording was Gandhi’s and which was Ben Kinglsey’s).

Both types of actors can be successful, though the modern acting profession places much more emphasis on flexibility and adaptability than used to be the case.

In a similar way, some people may find that they are limited in the roles that they can play, and others are more flexible. But current business demands, competition and the need to perform are placing increasing demands on the ability to adapt.

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