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Teamwork still needs to be our area’s focus

During my third year at West Liberty (Go Hilltoppers!), I was enrolled in a class called Writing for Radio and Television. The name of the class pretty much tells you its focus. We learned various methods for writing news scripts for television and radio broadcasts.

The major project was to develop a concept, treatment and script for an original television show. The class was divided into groups of four and given several weeks to put it together. The group I was assigned had an initial meeting, came up with some ideas and started working on the development. There was one member of the team, though, who never attended any of the follow-up meetings. All of us knew when our planning and writing sessions were. We kept in touch throughout the progress of the project. This individual simply decided not to work with the rest of the group.

The morning the assignment was due, the individual showed up to present their contribution which was far short of what was needed and didn’t flow with the rest of the script. It was obvious which part of the group worked together and who went off on their own. Fortunately, the professor was understanding and was willing to adjust his grading, giving one score to the three members who worked together and another to the individual who did their own thing.

For whatever reason, that project has been on my mind lately, and it reminds me of the importance of good teamwork and communication.

To some extent, the idea of teamwork and communication had been pushed by many in our area in recent years. The thought was that we, as the Upper Ohio Valley and, in particular, as the Northern Panhandle, would rise or fall together. Each success would be a benefit to the whole and not just the individual. It was something we all could build on.

When I was young in my career, our local legislators found ways to work together. It didn’t matter if they were from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio or Marshall counties. It didn’t matter if they were Democrat or Republican. They put that aside and put in the work to benefit the Northern Panhandle.

Development projects, while perhaps under the umbrella of a single organization, were the result of representatives of just about every community in Hancock and Brooke counties working together, sharing ideas putting an effort toward the future.

Landing a business in one city or town was part of the puzzle and could provide opportunities for everyone.

Think of it in terms of sports. Ben Roethlisberger could throw four or five passes resulting in touchdowns. He could even pick up a few carries of his own. Those contributions are noted, of course, but when the game is over, who gets the win?

Let’s look at it in another way. While the United States certainly changed the course of World War II, we didn’t single-handedly win the war. We were part of a team, made up of military units from around the planet, communicating and fighting together to stop an effort by other countries. We like to believe it was just us against everyone else, but go back and actually read the history books. It wasn’t one general or even one country.

Our area’s future will be the result of communication and teamwork. It’s not about one group over the other, because if we work with that mentality, there’s no winning for anyone.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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