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Fundamental #10 – Be a team player

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Be a team player – Our success depends on our ability to communicate and work together seamlessly.  Be willing to step into anther role or help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success.  There’s no such thing as one person or department succeeding and another falling short.  We’re all in this together and we win and lose as a team.

The most critical factor in the success of any venture often times comes down to teamwork.  How well does the team of people work together to achieve the goal for which they are striving.  Examples of this are all around us in our everyday life.  They include the military, operating rooms, and sports teams who’s teamwork not only is integral to their preparation and planning but can actually be seen in the execution of their work.  But teamwork is present in much smaller and less obvious places and is just as critical.  Think about the trusting relationships we build to help us achieve our goals.   Friends and family that support each other to complete a task as simple as making dinner for the family.  It is clear that we can achieve much better results when we work as a team.  So then ”what does it take to be a good team player?“

The best team players are:

  • Active Participants – They do not stand by and watch, they are engaged and actively working to better the team.
  • Accountable – Team players recognize that they are part of the team and therefore can’t let the team down.
  • Reliable – If we can rely on our teammates we can take on greater challenges.
  • Committed – We must be committed to each other much like we are to our families.
  • Supportive – Because we succeed and fail together, when we see a teammate struggle, we must support each other.
  • Active Listeners – They mindfully comprehend as well as confirm what others are saying in order to prevent misunderstanding.
  • Flexible – They are able to quickly change in order to accommodate the needs and direction of the team.
  • Share Openly – Team players share ideas without concern for personal impacts.  They are concerned only with the success of the team.
  • Inclusive – They recognize that every “Team Player” has a role to play and that the team is better for including them.
  • Trustworthy – Team players trust their teammates.  Trust is built on experience and is only 100%.  There is no such thing as partial trust.

The last of the traits above, Trust, is often time the most difficult while at the same time the most critical.  Without trust it can be difficult to embody the other traits.  Please be mindful of this and work ensure that you are worthy of the trust of your teammates.

Upon reflection, everyone can see themselves in some of the traits listed above.  What we need to consider is “Why don’t I embody all of these traits?” or “What am I doing to become a better team player?”   I challenge you all to pick a few of the traits above and make a conscious effort to improve.  It is critical for the success of ourselves and our company that we work daily to be a team player.

“A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player.  Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork.” – John Wooden

– Scott Marshall