I've spent quite a bit of time lately thinking about personal branding and what role it can play in the overall business strategy of a company. Each time I think about it I continue to do so in terms of how it plays a role in sports.
I'm sure that just like me, when you played any type of organized sports when you were young, the coach constantly talked with you about the importance of the TEAM. I'm sure you all heard the saying, "There is no I in team" a million times as you came up through the ranks.
This type of message is predominant even at the college level. I recently read a transcript of a speech given by the University of Michigan football coach, just before a game versus Ohio State many years ago. In that speech Bo Schembechler stated (I'm paraphrasing), "This is the last time you'll ever truly play for a team. Even if you happen to go on to the NFL you won't be playing for a team ... you'll be playing for a contract, or you'll be playing for the longevity of your career."