I don’t know about you, but I love the start of a new year. It’s exciting. A new beginning. New opportunities. A great time for a change and for improvement. And you may have already started thinking about what you should do this year to better yourself. And a lot of it will come down to the team you’re in. The people you work with.
The people you work with determines a lot as my brother found out just recently.
My nephew, who just happens to be one cool little dude, is also a superstar soccer player at his local club. OK, slight exaggeration. Yes, I’m a very proud aunty. How could I not be? He has his club’s premier team coach in awe of his skills. Not bad for an eight year old. And not bad for my brother who has been my nephew’s team coach for the past 3 years. In fact the club has big hopes for the team overall. So much so, that my brother together with the other coach are constantly on the lookout for new influences they can introduce to the team to make them even better. And that’s what they thought they found with a new coach, which they spotted at another club.
At first it all looked great. The new coach’s approach seemed to complement what they already had. And then the new coach came out with this, “Listen here boys, (to my brother and the other coach) this is how I work. I don’t want anyone to interfere with what I decide to do.” (In other words it’s my way or the highway. Hang on a minute, I thought we were a team? I guess not!)
Although my brother tried several times to change the new coach’s mind he didn’t want a bar of it. My brother tried to show the new coach the advantage of working together as a team and that the other coach they had on board, which was the coach for the club’s premier league, had a lot of value to add.
He’d be a person you’d want on your side. But the new coach didn’t want to budge.
With that said the new coach got the boot without the season even starting.
My brother’s reaction when it was finally over, “Thank god! All the politics over the last couple of weeks was doing my head in. Who would’ve thought it would turn out like this.”
This is where I jumped in and said, “Agron, you need to know what to look for.”
And my brother came out with, “It’s not like we could’ve asked him a hundred questions.”
But this is where people make the mistake. You don’t need to ask a hundred questions to know if that person will be a good team player or not. It’s about knowing what to look for, for starters, and it seems to come down to three simple things.
They need to be humble, hungry and be people smart¹.”
Blog Tip #44 – As you’ll learn when you check out Patrick Lencioni’s, “The Ideal Team Player – How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues: A Leadership Fable”, which I highly recommend, you want to work with people that are:
- Humble – be able to show a vulnerable side and this is what it looks like. “Yes, there are things I don’t know. Yes, I’m not perfect. Yes, I do make mistakes. Yes, I’m human too.”
- Hungry – this is what you get when the person is both motivated and hardworking. They’re the ones that go beyond what they need to do and are passionate about their work.
- People smart – these are the people that show signs of emotional intelligence. In other words, they’re the ones that can get the job done without insulting the crap out of everyone.
In this case, the new coach wasn’t necessarily a bad person, just not the right fit for a culture of team work.
Was the new coach hungry?
Hey, we live in a world where everyone is busy and when you’re taking time out to coach a local soccer team for nothing I think that says something.
Was he humble?
“I don’t want anyone to interfere with what I decide to do.” Are you kidding me?
Was he people smart?
As if his approach wasn’t going to rub people up the wrong way. From that point on it was like “Who the hell does this guy think he is?”
It definitely seems as though the coach had more of an individual focus. Something along the lines of let’s see how good a coach I can prove myself to be for my own pride as oppose to approaching the job with the team of coaches he had behind him.
So, what questions should be asked to determine if a person does have these 3 character traits?
Stay tuned, as for the next few weeks I’ll share with you all my experiences and knowledge about what you need to look out for when trying to find a person that you want to have on your team
What did you think about blog post #44?
Have you experienced anything similar? Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.
If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!
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I’ll see you next week.
¹The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni (2016)
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