The chemistry of chemistry: Elements

As Mr. Williams posited, you might describe a team as “… having the following properties: elements (members), interactions (roles and norms), catalysts (leaders), energy (motivation), attraction (cohesiveness), and mass (size)…”

Let’s fIrst consider the “elements”.

Every team needs its members.  The somewhat random mixture of “elements” that choose to come together, guided by a common sense of purpose, looking to achieve a specific goal.

Somewhere within that process of coming together, there will be a transition. A moment when that collection of elements will become more than just a “group”.  Diverse elements that work together to become a cohesive unit.

A team.

Those residing at the core represent an elixir of different talents, abilities and potential vital to the health of the whole. Over time, “who” they are and “what” they can do will begin to aggregate, congeal and become more defined. A nucleus is born.  The organ tasked to embody purpose and project the goal.

Those inhabiting the outer layers constitute a uniquely wide array of talents and abilities.  Their presence equally essential to the vitality and health of the whole. They are a constituency of potential.  A mass of capacity just waiting to be focused, energized and released.

What unites these uncommon elements ?

A passion for an activity or pursuit?  In athletics, the love of the sport. In the military, the call of service.

A desire to be a part of something meaningful; bigger than oneself?

Perhaps it is more of a social thing, a way to be connected.  The desire for friendships and the common experiences that come along with them.

Or maybe it is just something brand new.  Part of an “I always wanted to try it” kind of moment.

Yet regardless of the situation, the inspiration or the motivation, there is a single thread that runs through all teams.  Binding one to another.  Always in a team, because it first exists within each of all the “elements”.

The most common of denominators.

A force that is always at work, but rarely employed to its full capacity.

Often overlooked. Downplayed and disregarded.

The absolute most likely to be avoided.

The bonding agent within the nucleus that radiates outward to become the irresistible force drawing the outer layers tight around its core.

That “intangible”.



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