There are quite a few games out there that split players up into different "classes" with different skills. There are big, strong tank classes that usually shield the rest of the team from bad guys, the warriors, riflemen, and footsoldiers that get a lot of the points...and then there's the medic.
For some reason or another, it's like no one wants to be the medic.
When I was playing a game recently I noticed that nobody was running medic, because let's face it, everybody just wants to get points so they can sit high on the scoreboard. But I realized that that scoreboard was the precise reason our team was losing. Every individual was so preoccupied with their own personal standing that the team could barely win a game.
So I switched over to the support class, picked another player, and just followed him around, keeping his health gauge full. And that helped us do better. In the lobby after the game, he expressed that he had appreciated me following him around. I told him that I was just trying to help the team win.
People avoid the support class all the time because of that scoreboard. They let the whole team suffer because keeping your team in top shape apparently isn't that glamorous.
But it's needed. And it's awesome.
So what am I getting at here?
Have you ever heard the term, "too many cooks in the kitchen?"
I personally have an inclination to lead. But I've learned that despite that, when I get in the room with someone else who is in charge, it's my turn to be the support class.
As a musician, I've done many different jobs. From writing arrangements and being the front man, all the way to cleaning up stages, rolling dirty cables, lugging gear around, and being hidden in an orchestra pit. Top to "bottom". There was a time when I used to load and unload gear, set up the stage, direct the sound check by running back and forth, and then by downbeat I was already so tired I could barely perform. I once did a short tour as a dedicated sound man for a jazz band. I also spent one summer job cleaning a fair number of toilets.
And you know what I've learned? It's that whether you are cleaning a toilet, editing video, loading vehicles, or running to get the speaker/musician food, your job is important. Because without you, whoever is the "main attraction" is going to have a harder time doing THEIR job.
But from businesses to bands to churches to the humble video game, teams have time and time again suffered from "scoreboard syndrome". People have questioned the validity of both leadership AND team dynamic, and endeavor after endeavor has fallen apart. "Why should we listen to him? Why's he so special?" "I just don't see what she did to be in charge." "Why can't we all just do our own thing? It'll work itself out." Haven't you watched enough war movies to know that this is usually the type of talk that ends up getting your favorite character killed?
I'm willing to lead, and I'm willing to be a cog in a machine if it's a machine I can be proud of. If it's not something I can get behind, then forget it. But if it is....well, that's beautiful.
If you're a gopher (as in "go for coffee"), a driver, a cleaning crew member, a cable roller, a sound-checker, a shoe-shiner, a moral-supporter, a street-team member....realize that's very important. I try to tell the people on my stage crew and even those who just volunteer their time to come and help that I appreciate them. Because I've done their jobs before, and I'd rather not have a list of jobs that keeps getting bigger.
And that goes for anything you're doing. If you're a supporter, take joy in that. One person's human bandwidth is ultimately limited, but the amount that bandwidth multiplies in a well-running team is phenomenal.