About two decades ago, the renowned phrase, “teamwork makes the dream work” was coined.
Attributed to American clergyman and author John C. Maxwell, the full, original quote was: “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”
But what does it all mean, exactly? Maxwell was saying that effective teamwork achieves much more than any one person could ever imagine.
In this past weekend’s edition of The News, readers learned about plans of Newton County Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization founded several years ago with virtually two simple principles in mind: Creating a neutral environment for county and city leaders to come together to collaborate, communicate and plan, and, in turn, ensure the group’s work leads to the betterment of the community and a brighter future for all Newton Countians.
In the midst of rapid growth and a surging community, it’s important to have such an organization in place now more than ever.
Our community has witnessed what teamwork can lead to.
Look at the evolution of Stanton Springs and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton & Walton Counties. What began as simply a concept in the late 1990s has now transformed into arguably the premier industrial areas in the nation. What was once hundreds of acres in farmland and forest is now home — and future home — to billion industries such as Takeda, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Rivian.
We’ve also seen what happens without such teamwork, which was, in part, why Newton County Tomorrow was created in the early 2000s.
Before Alcovy High School was opened in 2006, district administrators developed plans for the county’s third high school without much input from other county organizations and government leaders.
After several meetings for Newton County Tomorrow’s “Growing with Grace” campaign, which included former Newton County Chairman Aaron Varner, the late, former Covington Mayor Sam Ramsey and former Newton County Superintendent Wendell Clamp, the topic of Alcovy High School came up in discussion.
“Why did the Board of Education build Alcovy High School where it did?” Varner asked, according to documents from Newton County Tomorrow. Apparently, access to utilities and public safety services in the area were not fully considered during the school system’s planning process.
“Because I thought we could use some growth down that way,” Clamp replied.
“Wendell, that ain’t your decision to make,” Varner said.
After Clamp asked why he couldn’t be the one to make that call, subsequent discussion led to the formation of a collaborative decision making process that later became known as the “Leadership Collaborative,” and a decision was made to pay for collaboration as a tool for conducting strategic planning. In addition, a decision was made to include all governments and the chamber of commerce — regardless of monetary involvement.
After the collaborative’s initial meeting, guess what board members was discovered?
“If one succeeds, we all succeed,” a Newton County Tomorrow meeting minutes stated. “We can achieve more together than we can individually.”
Teamwork really does make the dream work.
Our View on the Issue is an opinion of The News’ editorial board, which includes Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck and News Editor Tom Spigolon.