This evening, I received an exclusive pre-release article from [the] new Marcum and Smith book, “Momentum”. They’re the same guys who wrote Egonomics. Anyway, part of the article is on the ultimate team player — which I’m sharing here.
According to our work and research, the ultimate team player has certain characteristics that set them apart and make it easy (at least easier) to know who they are when you see them. Here are some key questions that distinguish a great team player:
- Do they make the people around them better?
- Do others offer better ideas because of their questions?
- Do others work more passionately because they’re around that person?
- Do others pay attention more when they’re in the room?
- Are others more engaged because they’re on a project with that person?
Here are 12 characteristics of a great team player that feed into the five questions above:
- We, then me mindset; works with a team first approach without losing sight of his individual talent, confidence and contribution.
- Devoted to progress; committed to a cause or purpose beyond himself.
- Speaks her mind boldly and diplomatically.
- Listens to feedback carefully and anxiously, especially when it’s difficult to hear.
- Constructively discontent; not pessimistic, but not relaxed about status-quo.
- Inclusive; loves diversity and talent, especially those with talents and history different than theirs.
- Insists on debate, and debates ideas effectively; doesn’t care who has the best idea, as long as the best idea wins; doesn’t take things personally.
- Open minded; not change or new idea resistant.
- Doesn’t allow the early warning signs of poor communication and teamwork (defensiveness, showcasing, excessive competition, seeking acceptance) undermine team dynamics and individual talent.
- Sees people as equals, not as superiors and subordinates. Only in accountability and performance are those hierarchical relationships visible.
- People trust your intentions; people know where you’re coming from when you challenge ideas, share new ideas, etc.
- Desire to make a difference, not just “do your job.” There is a clear performance difference between “job-holders” and difference-makers.