individual vs. Individual

It is our philosophy that the word individual has a dual meaning: one person/many persons, one action/many actions, one word/many words. One is an individual; collectively, they are Individual. In other words, you are an individual person, but when you come together with other individual people you create an Individual team/group/collective. Throughout The I in Team Series, you will notice the use of these words and the subtle differences in their usage. When referring to a single person, task, or action, the word individual—with a lowercase i—will be used. When referring to an entity that is made of multiple individuals, the word Individual—with a capital I—will be used.

How do individuals and Individuals influence one another?

The first and most important influence we have is on ourselves. It’s in the way we think, act, and perceive the world. We influence our own individual every day and night, even as we sleep and dream. As individual humans, we influence other individual humans every day. Through our interactions, expressions, and words, we have an impact on other individuals even if we don’t realize it. We influence our family members, friends, co-workers, teammates, classmates, teachers, mentors, mentees, and strangers. As we influence other individuals, they also influence us.

We also influence Individuals. From the teams we work with, to the companies we work for, to our entire family or community, our individual influence touches all the larger Individuals where we operate. We influence our collective Individual team when we go to work; our Individual team may operate as part of a larger Individual company, where our Individual team influences the Individual company. Our Individual company has influence on the Individual markets they sell to. We influence our Individual community, where we live, and we influence our Individual families. We influence our Individual friend groups, or sports teams, or networking groups. As individuals, our influence radiates out like ripples from a freshly thrown rock into a pond, touching every individual and Individual that we interface with in our lifetime.

Examples of i(I)ndividuals

Beth

Examples of individuals

Beth, an individual residing in New Mexico, works with special needs children at a local middle school. She has a passion for teaching and her patience, caring nature, and desire to continue learning make her an ideal individual for her position. Every afternoon before heading home, she oversees that the classroom is prepared for the next day based off an individual checklist (an individual action she performs individually).

Example of Individuals

When individual Beth goes to work, she joins with several other individuals to create several Individuals. Beth and her co-workers become an Individual team—an Individual working together to ensure their middle school class receives the information and care they need for the day. They perform tasks Individually, working together to get tasks done that just one individual would not be able to complete. Beth also becomes an Individual when she goes home to her husband and four children—an Individual family loving and supporting one another.

Garrett

Examples of individuals

Garrett, an individual residing in Tennessee, just started attending community college in his hometown. He isn’t sure how he wants to use his individual influence yet, so he is taking prerequisites while he figures out his purpose. Since he only goes to class part time, he also has a job working at a local ice cream parlor. Garrett is extremely organized, so every morning he structures each individual task he has for the day to keep him on schedule. He is becoming proficient in time management.

Example of Individuals

When individual Garrett attends class, he becomes an Individual with his classmates. They are an Individual working towards the same Individual goal of learning that day’s material. They are also an Individual class part of the Individual school, which is made up of several Individual classes. Sometimes after class, he and a few other individuals decide to go to a local coffee house to review their individual goals—in this process, they become an Individual that each individual can bounce ideas off of. This Individual accountability team helps each individual stay on track.

Dot

Examples of individuals

Dot, an individual residing in Virginia, retired from the US Army last year and now spends her free time with her family or volunteering at a local animal sanctuary. Dot is also known for her individual baking skills, which she uses to raise money for her grandkids’ school and the animal sanctuary. Every Friday, she makes an individual list of items she will need to purchase for her next individual baking project.

Example of Individuals

Before Dot retired from the US Army, she was an Individual with her squad unit. Her unit, and all the other units, are what comprise the Individual Army. Now she is part of a different Individual group—Veterans. Dot enjoys her retirement by contributing to the Individual that cares for animals at the sanctuary. She feels she can use her influence well and positively contribute to the betterment of mankind through her baking, which she uses to raise money for her grandkids’ Individual school and the Individual animal sanctuary.