When the “We” becomes a “Me”

Marc Emmanuel
3 min readFeb 12, 2024


In the rapidly evolving landscape of today’s business environment, a notable shift towards individualism has sparked a widespread discussion. Phrases such as “Gen-Z is hard to handle in a business context” are becoming increasingly common, reflecting a broader conversation about the changing dynamics within professional settings. This shift towards individualism, particularly pronounced over the past two years with the revolution in gender identities and personal expression, presents both opportunities and challenges, especially in the realm of teamwork.

Understanding the Call for Understanding

As a seasoned professional with years of experience working across diverse teams, I’ve observed firsthand the power of diversity in creative collaboration. In my experience the inclusion of varied perspectives typically improves outcomes, underscoring the value of individual contributions within a collective effort. The rise of individualism however, has also led to the emergence of extreme viewpoints, which while necessary for societal evolution, can strain and even destroy team dynamics and work relationships. The core issue lies not in the promotion of individualism per se but in how it’s integrated into team settings. When individualism is emphasized at the expense of collective goals, or when it’s ignored altogether, the foundation of effective teamwork begins to erode.

Team Building in the Age of Individualism

Effective collaboration requires more than just assembling a group of talented individuals. It demands a deliberate and thoughtful approach to team building, one that acknowledges and integrates the diverse strengths AND weaknesses of its members. This process varies significantly across teams; some may require minimal effort to grow together, while others might need extensive team-building initiatives. To navigate the complexities of modern teamwork, a balanced approach is essential. This involves recognizing and valuing individual contributions while fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Especially in this age of remote work. It’s about creating an environment where personal achievements contribute to, rather than compete with, team objectives. Organizations must strive to cultivate a culture that celebrates diversity while maintaining a clear focus on collective goals. This is no easy task. But one worth fighting for!

Reimagining Teamwork for the Future

As we continue to grapple with the implications of individualism in professional contexts, it’s clear that the path forward requires adaptability, understanding, and a recommitment to the principles of teamwork from all sides. By embracing the strengths of individualism while mitigating its potential to disrupt team cohesion, we can unlock new levels of creativity and efficiency. Ultimately, the success of teamwork in this new era will depend on our ability to balance the celebration of individual differences with the pursuit of common goals.

In crafting this dialogue, organizations and team leaders must play a pivotal role, guiding their teams through the complexities of this transition with empathy, vision and understanding. Only by doing so can we ensure that the evolution of individualism serves to enrich our collective endeavors rather than detract from them.

I am looking forward for a future where we can value each other without the need to impose opinions and values onto others. The team goal should not overshadow individual goals, but unite them behind it.



Marc Emmanuel

My thoughts and stories on the leadership world and how I experience them in my current leadership role @virtualidentityag (https://www.virtual-identity.com/)