A real person in a good team
Some people take the view that a person (often themselves) will be lost in a team, and, to be fair, this can happen.
There are bosses and there are teammates who want you to conform, to submit, to lose your identity to a meaningful degree, but in a real and good team, the opposite occurs. Each becomes able to become more of who they are.
Each person can learn faster and be more honest. We can make mistakes, admit to them and learn faster from these mistakes. We can enjoy our colleagues, whom we come to know as more complete people.
Yes, there can be dysfunctions in a team. Some teams can learn to move away from those dysfunctions while some cannot.
So, I and Scrum are not in favor of collectivism or of people losing their identify. I am in favor of each person using his or her unique abilities to be creative or innovative, and struggling to find themselves within the context of the team. (Yes, one must face things and deal with some compromises, which to the inexperienced or immature can seem really tough. Really tough sometimes, but unavoidable in our life as humans. ‘No man is an island’ it was once said.)
So, I am not talking here about dysfunctional teams mainly, I am talking about good to great teams. Most important, each person gets to contribute to the team, and the team is making a good or great product that real customers will like. This is very satisfying. So, it is funny how life can be more satisfying when you give to others. You get more for yourself when you are thinking mainly of others.
How are things for the (so-called) top performer?
Well, the good team should be able to recognize the talents of its members. Again, we cannot promise nirvana, but I think in good to great teams, the top performer(s) also can have a better life.
Some of this seems paradoxical to those who have been in bad situations. My sympathy to you (if you are one of those), but do not lose faith that some day you will see, in a good team, that it is true.
In my opinion, one of our deepest desires as humans is to be known for that person that we truly are, neither hiding nor boasting, both the good and the bad. It is a deep desire, and a good team can enable you to experience that to a great degree, and it even happens while doing real work (i.e., not from some fluffy exercise from a consultant, not in some artificial way.)