The third week in May is a very special week in Annapolis, MD. It is Commencement Week for the United States Naval Academy midshipmen, and every year the Blue Angels rehearse on Tuesday and perform on Wednesday afternoon. This year, for the first time in many years, several friends and I went to see this magnificent team perform and perform they did. I took this picture while the aircrafts were moving at speeds well in excess of 400 miles per hour notice the distance between the wings of the two aircraft.

Every Blue Angel performance is based around the center point. For this event, the center point was on the Severn River which borders the US Naval Academy. This is where we took our seats, and awaited the show's beginning.

If you have never experienced this amazing team in action, you are certainly missing a demonstration of true of teamwork at its best. Watching and hearing the F-18 Hornets approach in and of itself is awe inspiring. Watching them approach from opposite ends of the center point at maximum velocity with minimal separation is nothing short of breathtaking.

The level of trust that the pilots have with each other is understandable the level of trust that they have with the enlisted men and women who maintain their aircraft, and support the team is equally amazing. For the Blue Angels every mission is critical. A successful performance is a matter of life and death. While everyone has his/her role to play on independent teams, each team realizes they are part of several other teams; and that each team must collaborate with all other teams to make any Blue Angels performance successful. While the pilots are often credit with the success of the performance, let's not forget the rest of the teams that also make significant contributions.

This same concept holds true in every organization. Many times those at the top, or most visible, get the credit for the team's success. Don't forget the behind the scenes teams also contribute to the overall success and should be recognized.

Everyone must realize that the team they're on is part of a larger team, with larger vision and mission. Whether your team is just a few, or a large project team, everyone is part of the bigger vision and mission.

Take a moment and think about the team(s) you work on everyday, and answer the following:

* Does your team communicate effectively at every level?
* Does your team put the team first every time?
* How well do your team's values align with the purpose, mission, and vision of the bigger team or organization?
* How well are your team members trained in the job functions of others?

These represent just a few of the values of this elite team called the Blue Angels.

© 2009, Gregg Gregory. All rights reserved. Reprints welcomed so long as article and by-line are kept intact and all links made live.

Author's Bio: 

Gregg Gregory works with organizations to help design cooperative teams that produce results; and where people work together and perform at peak levels. Through his interactive workshops and consulting, Gregg's clients achieve greater team focus, cooperation, productivity, and impact. His experience includes more than two decades of human resources, real estate, mortgage banking, as well as radio and television broadcasting. Please contact Gregg at 866-764-TEAM or visit