Being a real team player
A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other. - Simon Sinek
In an old Peanuts cartoon, Lucy demanded that her brother Linus change TV channels and then threatened him with her fist if he didn’t.
“What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” asked Linus.
“These five fingers,” said Lucy. “Individually they are nothing, but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.”
“What channel do you want?” sighed Linus.
Turning away, he looked at his fingers and said, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?
As leaders, how we model teamwork is important. Unlike Lucy’s approach, we have to foster an environment of teamwork that expands beyond having our own way. It can be complicated.
What kind of a team player are you? It’s an important mark of your leadership and in today’s environment, it matters more than ever. Here are a few questions to ponder. After some honest reflection, decide for yourself, if you are really a team player or an imposter.
Does my attitude benefit my team or undermine it?
Teams that succeed do so with players who have a positive attitude. There’s just really no other way around it. Is your attitude one that lifts your team up or tears it down? Is your attitude a reliable one that others can look to and emulate and from it gain the confidence and courage they need in a moment of doubt or uncertainty? Or on the other hand, do you entertain those with a bad attitude by lending them a sympathetic ear? Remember, what you tolerate, you promote, and this is especially true as it relates to attitudes.
Am I looking out for my own interest, or what is best for the team?
This is an age-old problem for many team players. If you are only looking out for your own interests and your own agenda, and not that of the team, can you really say that you are a team player? Babe Ruth was right when he said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” If you are promoting your own interests over the team, it’s likely you really aren’t a team player.
Do I celebrate the successes and accomplishments of my teammates?
One of the hallmarks of a successful team is when fellow team members can celebrate the achievements and success of one of their peers. At the end of the day they understand that when he wins, the team wins. If you are blinded by petty jealousy or insecurities, you are really not a team player.
Am I open to new ideas and to change or am I a hindrance to it?
Teams that succeed are growth-minded and are always looking for ways to improve. They realize that they can’t rest on yesterday’s win, and they must be open to new ideas. If you are always resisting change and your mantra is “we’ve never done it this way before,” then chances are you are really not a team player, you’re simply standing in the way of those trying to move forward.
Am I intentional and consistent about adding value to my team?
A team player is not out to protect his or her own agenda or play politics. An honest team player truly wants to add value and do what’s best for the team. Are you looking for ways to add value and lift others? Are you willing to put others ahead of yourself for the good of the team? If so, chances are, you are a team player. ©2019 Doug Dickerson.
Read more at www.dougdickerson.net. at DougDickersonSC.