By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

I’m a huge baseball fan. And this week is one of my favorites of the baseball season – All Star week. Now there are people who will disagree with my excitement and claim the game means nothing, it’s just an exhibition, or it should be done away with altogether. I get that. I went to an All Star game a few years ago, and it was one of the most boring games I’ve ever been to. But the best part for me is seeing some of the fiercest competitors in the game come together and play on the same team.

I try to watch as much of the festivities as I can, especially the home run derby and all of the interviews in the days leading up to the game. I enjoy the personalities of the players. Hearing the stories of where they came from and how they got to the biggest stage in baseball. How they interact with one another. They laugh, high-five, hug, like they’ve known each other their whole lives. It’s brotherhood, and it shows, regardless of the team imprinted on their individual jerseys.

I think we can all learn something from the All Star game and the festivities around it. In the business world, we often have to combine our respective teams with others to work towards the same goal. For Marias, we work with a team of people from the insurance companies we work with, from software vendors, and sometimes from other third parties. And in our own minds, each of us feels that we excel at what we do. Our talent and experience leads us to know what we do better than anyone else. In our respective organizations, we are the superstars.

More times than I would like, I witness situations in which the superstars can’t combine to create the all-star team the project needs. Everyone is too busy pounding their own chests and trying to show how good they are to have the humility to just be part of the team. We get it – you’re the greatest insurance expert you know. You’re from the software vendor so you know the system better than anyone else ever could. But if you could just get over yourself, we could all move forward and do something great together.

So as you’re assembling your all-star team to help with your project, make sure the groups of superstars you hope to combine have a reputation for playing nice with other stars. It could be the difference between your project being a grand slam home run or a strike out with the bases loaded.