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Major tournament football is here for the summer, leaving HR departments across the country sweating about lost productivity, sick days, and a spike in incidences of the fabled boozy lunch. The proceedings so far have been mixed from a home nation’s perspective, and have left England fans with an all too familiar sense of disappointment – despite this being the year where ‘they didn’t get their hopes up too much’… 

As followers of the England team are reminded all too often, teams that do well are better than the sum of their parts. The Greece team who won the tournament in 2004 contained very few household names, but through determination, discipline, and, most importantly teamwork, they were able to emerge victorious. Collaboration was the key to the Greek miracle. 

At the other end of the scale, no amount of individual brilliance within a team – no matter how many members possess it – can make up for a lack of effective collaboration. The history of international football is littered with fantastic teams who have been unable to come together when the situation called for it, and players like the sublime Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have not won eternal glory on the biggest stage. 

The lesson for accountants is clear. While individual talent allows you to shine, you are unlikely to reach the very top if you cannot collaborate with your colleagues effectively. Fortunately, unlike the world of international football, accountants trapped in teams with no collective spirit can move on, and seek out an environment that will support their growth. 
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