I was reading an article on http://www.espn.com yesterday about the emerging superstar Point Guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. It was noted by reporter Peter May that during Rondo’s rookie season Head Coach Doc Rivers advised him, “you know your teammates hate playing with you?” Rondo responded well to the coaching and started 22 of the team’s last 23 games that season and the rest is developing history.
After reading Rivers’ comments, I thought about the elements that would comprise a teammate people would LOVE to work with. This list is certainly non-inclusive and I invite you to comment and add your own thoughts. That being said, after 40 years of serving in a variety of team environments, the following are the 7 qualities I feel make up someone you would love working with.
- Productivity. Do you do your job? People love serving alongside competent individuals who produce and add to the organization’s bottom line.
- Connectivity. Do you get along with people? Whether it is your occupation, a hobby, or serving at a non-profit or church, the ability to have fun and winsomely connect with others relationally is a necessary ingredient to overall team performance.
- Creativity. Do you bring fresh ideas to the organization? This prevents stagnation and allows organizations to move forward.
- Sincerity. Do people trust you? Organizations do not advance unless those around you feel you have their best interests in mind.
- Stability. The most common felt emotion by people is insecurity. Are you the same day-in and day-out or do people wonder which “Brian” am I getting today?
- Rationality. Do you keep a proper perspective on all decisions? There are many complex decisions that are made daily within each organization. As a team, we will never have 100% agreement on all decisions. However, it is important to have respect knowing that not all decisions are “life and death” issues.
- Generosity. Are you internally or externally focused? In other words, is your primary focus on yourself or on others. Generosity is the glue that holds teams together. I feel so strongly about this quality that it needs to be unpacked and have its own individual list.
Generous teams do the following:
- Individuals have an abundance mindset vs a scarcity mindset.
- The organization builds departmental bridges vs having a silo mindset.
- Team members give leads and opportunities to others vs hoarding potential.
- Leadership is focused on corporate success vs personal gain.
- Ideas are shared vs creative selfishness.
- Credit is given away vs self-promotion.
- People take responsibility for actions vs assigning blame.
- People in need are proactively helped vs letting them fail.
- Individual victories are celebrated by all vs petty jealousies.
- Leaders serve others vs expecting to be served.
I want to be the type of teammate that people love working and serving with. I know you do as well. Let’s practice the qualities listed above and today take one step closer to being described as a generous person who brings out the best in others.