May 15th, 2010
02:46 PM ET

Dear Mr. President # 481 "No 'I' in team"

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama, like every president, began his time in office by assembling a team. But having a team, and playing with a team can be two different matters. For the next few days, my letters to the president will be about teamwork.

Dear Mr. President,

Being an avid basketball fan, you must have seen the collapse of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as they were driven out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, whom many sportswriters still consider man-for-man far less talented. And no doubt, you've heard some analysts adding up the reasons for the failure: Bad shooting, good defense, too much aggression, too little aggression, lack of heart, lack of soul, tight Nikes, loose jerseys, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But do you want to know the real, core reason? I think it is precisely because they were LeBron AND the Cavs. Not simply the Cavs.

Much is made of the value of a Superhero on any team, whether in sports, politics, or business. But a Superhero, no matter the venue, has to be truly, outrageously, and reliably super under all sorts of circumstances to outplay even a moderately skilled, but truly coordinated team. Or to put it more succinctly: In most collaborative circumstances on most days, teams win.individuals do not.