There are an overwhelming number of quotes that describe teamwork. A few that stuck out for me as they relate to Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark are: “Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” Author unknown. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.-H.E. Luccock. “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work …” Vince Lombardi. “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.”–Kenyan proverb. TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More – Author Unknown.
When Nic Nelson and his mom first arrive in New Bonn, the two of them are the only members of their team. With the death of Nic’s dad, they had lost the most important person on their team. So they moved to a new town in the hopes of rebuilding their lives with a team that had been reduced to a dynamic duo.
At the beginning of Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark, friendship — in the form of Kevin Becker and Jason Hornsby, eases Nic’s apprehension and doubt regarding the upheaval he and his mom had recently gone through. With the start of school came additions to Nic’s circle of friends, complements of Kevin, as he met Herbert, Cindy Lin, Dante Brown, and Philip Browning. But just because a group of individuals grows into a group of friends, it doesn’t automatically translate into a “team.” You can like someone very much, but that doesn’t mean that someone is a team player!
It didn’t take long, however, to test Nic’s new circle of friends and see how fast they would step up to the plate as part of a team. The lock-in at the start of the school year pitted Nic, Kevin and all the rest of their group against the bully, Johnny, and the rest of his gang (along with the rest of the students divided into two teams from the east and west sides of town). The annual dodge ball game played at the lock-in was the first test of this new team. The game also showed what a supportive team player Nic could be when he demonstrated compassion and encouragement toward his new friend Herbert when he doubted his value as a part of the team.
Teams can be complex when you consider the diverse personality traits exhibited by the members. They (the teams and the team members) tend not to function very successfully when everyone is alike or when they are constantly at odds with one another. Teams need different personality types to round them out. Everyone can’t be a leader. Some team members are best at “pumping” up the members when they are down or the team is failing to achieve its goal. Kevin is a good example of this type of team member. Other members of a team help with strategies, devising what steps will help them be successful and which come next, which is a role that Nic plays very well. Depending on what task is set before them, other team players will have more specific talents or skills. Exercising these talents/skills gives individual team members an opportunity to momentarily stand out, while at the same time helping the team shine as a whole.
When all the parts of a team work together and gel, a winning team is born! Whether they are raking leaves together to earn some extra money, playing paintball to try and beat their common foe, Johnny, or using their intellect as a team to figure out the mystery behind the Diamonds of Denmark, Nic, Kevin, Herbert, Cindy Lin, Phillip and Dante form a dynamic little team that believes in itself as a whole and in each other, as well.
Teamwork is a core theme throughout the Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark story … one that is, hopefully, an example of how to be truly good friends, how to play together as a great team, and how the strength of a team can make all the difference in the lives of each team member.