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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]One of the biggest hurdles that so many business owners face is creating a comprehensive and dynamic work culture within their business. They struggle with bringing together multiple personalities and experiences and perspectives to achieve a common goal. Throughout my experience as an NBA player and as a motivational speaker and business coach, I’ve learned that when I strive to be a better team player, I also see a radical improvement in myself as well. When I focus on these three things, I find that not only are the people around me are happier and more productive, but I am happier and more productive too:

A great teammate will respect the skills and strengths of others

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I hand out compliments like they are running out of style. I’ll be the first to tell someone that their hair looks on point, their presentation was phenomenal, or that suit makes them look like a million bucks. I try to be intentional about pointing out people’s strengths and expressing gratitude for what they bring to the table. When I focus more on the strengths and skills of others, I am in a consistent state of gratitude and appreciation.

I am very aware that without the strengths and skills of the people around me, I would not be where I am today. It takes a dedicated team with a variety of strengths and specialized skill sets to make our team run smoothly. I am surrounded by people who can do specific tasks ten times better than I can, and instead of letting that make me feel insecure or inferior, I showcase those strengths and those skills and express my gratitude for them. A great teammate will respect the skills and strengths of others

A great teammate will must respect perspective

Chances are, your company is made up of a lot of different people from a lot of different places with a lot of different experiences and areas of expertise. There is beauty and power in this. Business leaders who embrace the diversity and differences of perspectives within their workplace open themselves up for innovation, creativity, and success. One of the most dangerous things that can be said in a workplace is “we’ve always done it this way.” If you are not open to understanding or hearing the perspective of others, you are limiting yourself and the potential growth of your company. As a teammate, when you are intentional about respecting the perspective of others, the result is that your world perspective changes. Your mind is opened a little bit further to accept information and ideas that may not have come naturally to you. Not everyone is going to agree, but being open to hearing the ideas and feedback of others is key to being a good teammate, a good leader, and a more well-rounded individual. 


The key to any successful relationship is trust. If you do not have trust, your marriage won’t work, your friendships won’t work, and your professional relationships won’t work. On the court, I had to have 100% trust that my teammates would be where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there so we could make the shot. In business, I’ve learned that customers want to do business with a company they can trust. When the people around you feel like they can trust you, they are more likely to come to you with problems, ideas, or feedback. When it comes to self-improvement, you also have to learn to trust yourself. You have to have confidence that you can do the hard things. You have to go with your gut. You have to follow your intuition but also be willing to take guidance from those around you. Self-improvement happens when you learn to trust in yourself.

The Takeaway

Working to be a better team player consistently is a win-win all around. Not only do you strengthen the culture of your company, but you work on the fundamentals of your character and work ethic that make you a better leader, a better employee, a better entrepreneur, and a better person. If you are like us and taking self-improvement seriously this month, the first step in building yourself up and your legacy up is by building others up first.

My challenge for you this week: Ask yourself how you can be a better team player. Check out our teamwork resources to find out what simple steps you can start implementing now to build a stronger and more productive team. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]

As I observed the careful precision of that car wash team, I could identify six things that made them work so well together, and that resulted in an impressive final product:

  1. Communication- the team expertly communicated what they were doing, when they were finished, where they noticed a problem, and when they needed help
  2. Chemistry- the whole time they worked, the team smiled and joked around. They were clearly focused on their job, but it was evident they had a strong personal connection and were happy doing what they were doing.
  3. Common Goals- the way the team worked meticulously on their specific part of the car made it clear that everyone was working for the same purpose: to make my car look its best. And it showed. They shared a common goal.
  4. Trust- very little had to be said as they washed, scrubbed and dried my car. Each member of the team trusted that the others were doing their job, and doing their job right. If one needed help, they called out and knew someone would be there to help them.
  5. Accountability- it would have taken me an hour to get my entire car as clean as these guys did in 20 minutes. Each person was accountable for their specific role and executed it with careful precision. Because of their accountability, each area of the car sparkled in the Florida sun.
  6. Commitment- there was a line of cars after mine, but the team didn’t seem rushed. They were efficient and committed to providing top-notch service. They didn’t cut corners or do anything halfway. Their commitment to their service truly impressed me.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are running; if your team doesn’t possess these six traits, they’re not as productive or successful as they could be. This little south Florida carwash killed it when it came to teamwork, and inspired me to make sure I’m bringing these six traits to the teams I’m on.

Your challenge for this week:

Do a careful analysis of your team and pinpoint the traits your team does exceptionally well and the one your team could work on. If your team can master these six traits, they’ll be unstoppable!

Lead by example

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Lead your company by following through with your promises and keeping your word. Don’t be the person that says what others want to hear, that doesn’t help anyone. When you mess up, own it and move on. Show your team that it is not about the mistake that you make, but the way you handle it with honesty and integrity.

Liberate your team from the perfection expectation

We should all strive for excellence, but we will never be perfect. Trust issues in the workplace often stem from people being so concerned about maintaining a perfect reputation that they are willing to do or say anything. Free your team from the expectation of perfection, and put an emphasis on solid work ethic, honesty, and transparency over perfection.

Be consistent

Trust takes time to build, and even more time to repair once it is broken. If there are trust issues in your workplace, remember that consistency is key to building trust. It will not happen overnight. As you continue to be accountable your actions and hold others accountable, as you admit to mistakes and are quick to forgive, as you set the expectation for honesty and integrity high, slowly but surely you will begin to build a foundation of trust.

A team that trusts each other is unstoppable. This week, when you make a mistake, own it and use it as a teaching opportunity to model humility, accountability, and integrity. Then watch your team follow suite.

Truth starts with truth and ends with truth.