Teams start with great teammates

posted by Steve Heston on Monday, June 11, 2018 in In Good Company

“I hate letting my teammates down. Sometimes, I try to make the right play, and if it results in a loss, I feel awful in that locker room because I could have done something more to help my teammates win.”

LeBron James, arguably the best active NBA player today,
and in the conversation for “GOAT”

Being “in good company” has a lot to do with teammates. So, for this first edition of “In Good Company,” let’s focus on the people with whom we surround ourselves. A mentor often reminded me, “Heston, surround yourself with people who are positive, inspired, excited and grateful.”

In other words, even a world-class basketball star like LeBron recognizes, this idea of “teammate” is really important.

And, it starts with being a great teammate. Our son plays on a strong AAU basketball team. At 6’7” and with a sweet shooting touch, he has an opportunity to get his mom and me that 529 Plan money back. (No pressure, son…) One important thing he’s learned from his coach is that if a member of their team ends up on the floor, all four of the other guys had better run over and help him up. We have multiple opportunities each day to do that same thing in our jobs and relationships.

Next, let’s look at what makes a team “good company.” Consider those around you. If you’re responsible for selecting them, then by all means interview, hire and lead for great teamwork. If you’re “just” a member of the team, give your teammates, and if necessary, your leaders, feedback on who you can count on – on those around you that are great teammates. It won’t hurt to invite and welcome feedback on how you’re doing in that regard as well!

Finally, and perhaps most important, create a shared definition of what it means to win. Great teammates, like LeBron, put team success over individual statistics. They want others to get recognition. They’re more passionate about the outcome than their role in it – good or bad. If there is little or no doubt about what it means to win, the team will coalesce around that vision and maximize their blended talents, experiences and abilities – if they’re “good company.”

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