If you've ever doubted the idea of one being a lonely number, you most likely have never worked on a Habitat for Humanity build site.

Last week, I spent my Saturday with a dozen other volunteers finishing up two new and affordable homes in Portland's Cully district. In fact, the house I helped paint was to be occupied by its new owner and family three days later.

Everywhere you looked on the site, the Habitat staff teamed up with the volunteers to see to it that the necessary tasks were performed with excellence. No one-man-bands in sight. Just the teams of painters, sawers,  and cleaners as they went about their business being accompanied by Brazilian music on one boom-box and old Steve Miller tunes on another.

Yes, there was the occasional volunteer doing a little rumba step thanks to the music tickling his backbone.

From time to time, one of the Habitat leaders would remind us of the need for hydration. "Take a break...get some water in you," we would hear on occasion. After all, these passionate folks were out on this site known as "Helensview" 5 days a week, week-after-week.  

Clearly the work completed during those six hours could not have been done without that strong esprit de corps.

What I mean by that is that isolationist thinking serves no one. No community, no organization and no country. Certainly, not in this day and age.

Practicing teamwork builds more than houses. It builds satisfaction and esteem.

And it truly is how things will always get better as every Conscientious Leader knows.

Which means, of course, better product, better marketing and better(happier) employees or team members.

It's clearly what Millard Fuller saw when he and his wife started Habitat for Humanity in 1976. And I think it embodies what Helen Keller wrote when she penned the words, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

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