10 Rules for Outstanding Team Players

African Wild dogs hunt in packs and rely for their survival and success on team work and collaboration. They adopt different hunting strategies depending on the prey and typically have a success rate of between 60 & 90 per cent – higher than any similar sized predators. Lions and hyenas typically average a success rate of around 25 per cent. Reflecting on what it takes to be an outstanding team player here are our ten rules:


Rule 1.   Don’t be in a team if you don’t care about its mission. Be a missionary not a mercenary. If you don’t love it then don’t be in it. You’ll do yourself and no one else any favours with an attitude that is anything less than 100%


Rule 2. Turn up with the right attitude. Positive, enthusiastic and good humoured. Don’t take yourself too seriously.


Rule 3. Be a water carrier. Go and get what the team needs. What can I do with my actions and attitude to help and support my team-mates?


Rule 4. Think of yourself less often. When you do, catch yourself and ask, how can I channel my thoughts back to the team’s needs?


Rule 5. Lead yourself. Be self-disciplined self-starting and reliable. Anticipate what needs to happen and get on with it. Seek forgiveness before permission.


Rule 6. Encourage and appreciate. Generally we should all speak less often but when we do speak words that encourage and support others and which show gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for the efforts of others are powerful.


Rule 7. Be responsible – for everything. If it affects the team your responsible so make it your business and do something about it, don’t wait to be asked or go looking for permission.


Rule 8. Give honest feedback. With careful consideration, give others the unvarnished truth they need to hear – in order that we become the best team possible.


Rule 9. Take note of the feedback you received. Check your ego and properly reflect on what you are being challenged to do. You will have a choice – get over yourself and start growing or give in to your ego and spend time defending and blaming.


Rule 10. Be challenging. Challenge yourself. Challenge others, challenge the team, be restless, curious and brave in seeking out opportunities and striving always for excellence.

Related Posts

Too busy Judging when we should be developing

We have been working with several groups of leaders recently who are in the midst of the annual cycle of performance reviews. This often involves talent identification, evaluations and various pigeonholing tools like 9-box grids, success circles and values matrices.   My problem is not simply with the tools or…

Read more
Accidental Leadership – Unbundling the App

For most leaders the process of becoming a leader is accidental. You start a career and build technical competence. If you are good at what you do there often comes a point when you get given responsibility for other people, which in theory at least, means you are now a…

Read more
Do You Know Any Good Stories?

Amos was an old Askari, a night watchman in the highlands of Kenya. He told me once how electricity had come to their village and that it made him sad because they no longer gathered around the fire together to tell stories. Instead, each stayed in his own house, enthralled…

Read more
Freedom Inside Constraints

The Legendary Basketball coach John Wooden[1], would begin each new season by sitting down his new players and demonstrating to them how they were to tie the laces on their shoes.  Surely unnecessary? – These athletes had been playing the game for years. Wooden’s point, was that for many things…

Read more