Be A Team Player

07 Feb

Last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos.  This outcome was NOT expected.  The broncos have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Payton Manning, who broke two records this season.  He threw 55 touchdowns, beating Tom Brady’s 50, and threw for 5,477 yards, beating Drew Brees by one yard!  Even with a quarterback with these record, the Broncos were defeated.  This is a perfect example of the phrase “Individuals win awards, teams win championships.”  The Seahawks came together and played as a team to beat the much favoured Denver Broncos.


So what makes a good team?  First you need to have people who are good team players, then after you have your players, you need to develop and maintain good team chemistry.  John Maxwell wrote a book called The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player.  This book has amazing information about how to personally become a better team player.  I am going to highlight five of the 17 essential qualities that make a team player.

1. Adaptable: “Teamwork and personal rigidity just don’t mix.  If you want to work well with others and be a good team player, you have to be willing to adapt yourself to your team”.  If you aren’t willing to work with your team and bend a little, you will never be a great team player.  To be adaptable you need to be teachable, willing to learn a new way to do things.  They are emotionally secure and do not see every ounce of change as a personal threat to the way they do things.  Team players are creative and they are service minded, focused on whats best for others or whats best for the team.

2. Committed: “Human emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment has to be rock solid.  If you want a solid team…you must have team players who are solidly committed to the team”.  Commitment is usually discovered when it is tested, as Vince Lombardi said “the harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”  Your commitment doesn’t depend on your abilities in some area, there are people who had all the natural ability in the world but weren’t committed and therefore didn’t succeed.  Commitment is a choice, when you chose to be committed you give yourself, and your team, the opportunity for success.  If commitments are based on values, it is more likely to last.  Commitments made in the moment are almost always doomed to failure.

3. Enthusiastic: “There is no substitute for enthusiasm.  When the members of a team are enthusiastic, the whole team becomes highly energized.”  To be an enthusiastic team player you have to take responsibility for your own enthusiasm, choose to be enthusiastic!  Sometimes this involves acting your way into feeling, if you wait to feel enthusiastic it may never come, so act like first.  To help you act and speak enthusiastically you need to believe in what you are doing, believe it is important and focus on the positive aspects.  Finally, to become more enthusiastic spend time with other people who are enthusiastic.

4. Selfless: “No team succeeds unless its players put others on the team ahead of themselves.  Being selfless isn’t easy, but it is necessary”.  Generosity is one of the keys to being selfless.  Being generous helps unite the team, and advance the team.  Avoiding internal politics by worrying about the good of the team instead of personal benefit is also essential to being a selfless team player.  Displaying loyalty to the team, not to yourself and valuing interdependence will lead to selflessness as well.

5. Tenacious:”Even people who lack talent and fail to cultivate some of the other vital qualities of a team player have a change to contribute to the team and help it succeed if they possess a tenacious spirit.  Being tenacious means giving all that you have, but not more.  If you think tenacity is giving all you have and more, you will be unmotivated because the goal is unattainable.  Giving all you have will set your team and yourself up for success.  To have tenacity is to work with determination and not wait for luck or fate to intervene.  You need to quit when the job is done, not when you are tired.  You show your real tenacity when you go beyond where you think you can in order to finish the task at hand.

Developing team players is not the end of the process of developing an unbeatable team.  Once you have a group of team players, everything is not guaranteed to go smoothly, we are people after all and people aren’t perfect.  Two things that a team must commit itself to are good relationships, and unity through conflict resolution.  These two commitments will lead to good team chemistry which allows success.

Claude Hamilton, in his book Toughen Up, outlines guidelines for great relationships.  These are just a sample of the wisdom he shares on how to build great relationships;

  1. Build Depth: Building deep relationships takes time.  Spending quality time with teammates will build deep bonds that will last through struggles and missed goals.  If relationships are not deep, the team has the potential to fall apart as nothing is holding the members of the team together.  You have to care about the people you are building deep relationships with, and show them that you love and care  about them.
  2. Use a Team Approach: Working towards a common goal with 20 people or even 10 is a lot more fun and feels easier than with just two.  Working together is key.  People will often work harder for the other people on their team than the will for themselves.  When this happens, results will appear faster and inspire people to believe in themselves and join in with the work.
  3. Think Long Term: Every team will encounter conflict at some point; people will argue because they don’t see eye to eye on something, someone will feel hurt by an innocent comment someone else made, people will argue about the best way to achieve a goal.  What is important to maintaining good relationships is learning to make the relationship more important than your feelings.  You have to be willing to have the hard conversations and communicate with other team members when you have been hurt. Being honest can break through barriers and bring teams closer together, where staying quite and harbouring resentment towards others will only break down relationships and eventually the team.

The second aspect of creating great team chemistry is unity through conflict resolution.  In Orrin Woodward‘s book, Resolved Primer, he discusses five steps for conflict resolution.  If applied correctly, these steps can help teams to work through conflict and be stronger on the other side. These steps can be applied when needing to have a conversation with a teammate about a conflict that has arisen in your relationship.

  1. Affirm the relationship: The conflict between team members is not the purpose of the conversation, the relationship between team members and the team is the purpose for the conversation.  This needs to be established right away.  By establishing this first, you affirm in the other person’s mind that your relationship matters and you remind yourself what the true purpose of the conversation is.
  2. Seek first to understand: The key here is to listen to your teammate and try to understand the conflict from their perspective.  It is especially important at this point to not take what the other person says personally and react emotionally.  You are there to listen and let them share their feelings with total freedom.
  3. Seek to be understood: Now you can respectfully share your perspective on the issue.  Remember that you are not here to prove who is right or wrong, you are here to resolve this conflict and move forward with a deeper, stronger relationship which leads to stronger team chemistry.
  4. Own responsibility by apologizing: Here, you want to own as much of the conflict as you can while still being truthful about the situation.  This step can be difficult because people are reluctant to admit their imperfections to others.  However, a sincere apology will create more good than denial and justifications ever can.
  5. Seek agreement: Now the goal is to unite and strengthen the relationship and therefore the team.  Flushing issues out of a relationship leaves only stronger bonds of love, trust, and unity.  In a team, unity creates harmony and success which is every team’s ultimate goal.

By becoming a better team player individually by applying the information from The 17 Essential Qualities of A Team Player you will increase your value in the team.  But for a team to increase it’s value overall, it needs to develop good chemistry through good relationships and unity.  When a team can focus on mastering these, that is when they win championships.

God Bless,




29 Responses to Be A Team Player

  1. Scott Staley

    February 7, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Awesome blog Wayne! Great books – and great nuggets there. Thank you for setting an example worthy of following – I appreciate and respect you for all you do for your team, and the relationships in your life.

  2. Michele Lewis

    February 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Excellent post Wayne. These are great points to help us all work together more effectively. Thanks for demonstrating what it takes to be a great team player. You and Raylene are amazing examples of how to lead from the front and play as teammates. Thanks for all you do.

  3. Eva Knelsen

    February 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Wow,what a fantastic blog! Lots of great tips on improving my game. If everyone would study this blog alone we would all get a lot more progress in the right direction. Thanks Wayne!

  4. Linda Sovey

    February 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Fantastic blog Wayne, as usual.
    I can’t wait until I get to work on Monday. I am going to print this off and show it to my team members.
    We are having problems with a number of changes coming our way and I really believe this blog will help us immensely.
    Thanks for everything that you do. You have grown so much in the past 2 years that I known you.
    We are so proud of you.
    God bless you and your family.

  5. Matt Carter

    February 7, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    You got it Wayne! A team that plays together with a great leader can accomplish anything!

  6. Tracey

    February 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Incredible insight, Wayne!! This information is so helpful to anyone..not only is it vital to team building, but is essential in everyday life. With many people working together, all applying these principles…not only will a million families be reached and helped, but the world will be changed forever! A ton of thanks for leading from the front, and for the servant leadership you share so graciously. God Bless!!

  7. Aaron Knelsen

    February 8, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Man! I could use all this wisdom about being a better team player in all areas of my life. Great books you used as a reference. Thanks a great post, a great read. See ya soon my friend!

  8. Ben Debus

    February 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Awesome blog Wayne!! I think anyone can take this information, apply it and build a massive tight team. By applying these 5 qualities, it will allow someone to first build a large team and then apply Orrin’s principles of conflict resolution in order to keep their team. Thanks for writing!

  9. Aage Smies

    February 8, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Great post Wayne, you’ve really hit the nail on the head! We saw the same thing happen during the Grey Cup game. What surprises me most is how many people come close to achieving great things on a team and then quit just before they attain it. I know we’re on the right team with you and Raylene, Claude and Lana.

  10. Kathleen Smies

    February 8, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Great blog! This are all amazing tips, and super handy to have all organized together. I’m definitely bookmarking this to study further.

  11. George Pringle

    February 8, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Amazing blog Wayne! There are so many great nuggets to take away for us to rise up and lead a great team. You and Raylene set great examples for all of us to follow and at the same time your walking side by side with us. Love you two lots and what a honor to call both of you our friends and leaders.

  12. Jennie & Alex Stiehl

    February 8, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Great post Wayne! You have certainly been an excellent example of all of these qualities. Thank you for being the leader of this amazing team!

  13. Carrianne

    February 8, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Fantastic blog! So many incredible tidbits! Wow! I’ll be printing this out to add to my notes! Great to read and re-read along our paths developing leadership skills. Thanks Wayne!

  14. Lisa

    February 8, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Wayne, what a great blog post! These are very relevant points that we can all use as we build our teams. Relationships are a big part of life and a lot of us do not fully appreciate what we have. Thank you to you and Raylene for being incredible role models and teachers!

  15. kim ansty

    February 8, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I can see all these qualities in you Wayne which is why you have so many people who respect you so much. I love how you are able to condense three books into one post. This information is good in parenting too. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Eleanor & Brian Maunder

    February 8, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for this weeks blog. Looking forward to meeting with you. Have an awesome day!

  17. Kody Ellis

    February 8, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Wayne this is absolutely phenomenal! Each point you made there connects perfectly to some of the major problems I had when playing sports in my youth. We had great talent on out teams with many of the players either being drafted to the OHL and NHL levels and moving on to play for Team Ontario and Canada in both hockey and rugby respectively. But as a team we never truly bonded. In other words, our teamwork wasn’t anywhere near the level the Seahawks were at this season. I wish I could’ve read these words while playing and shared it with the teams I was on. Ultimately our seasons would’ve been much better!

    Thanks Wayne for your leadership!

    Kody Ellis

  18. Joseph P Keller

    February 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Wow great blog Wayne, information is so powerful but only if applied and this blog is filled with the stuff that so many could apply bits and pieces or really all of it.
    Team (Together Everyone Achieves More) power in numbers through relationships that our built to stand the tests of time thanks not only for sharing what it takes but by being the example leading a Unified group (Team) to such amazing victories. I look forward to your next blog.

  19. David Smale

    February 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Each of these 5 points Wayne we have watched you impliment into your business and allowed each of us to follow. Showing us by example how to build and work in a team driven attmosphere. Thanks for leading the way

  20. Chris Hogervorst

    February 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Great post Wayne! Just the way I like it, to the point and rammed full of information. Having read the books you referenced, this was a great reminder of some of the key points out of these books.

    Thanks for additional perspective.

  21. Stu Hall

    February 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Once again, Wayne, great blog. Improving as a team player is something we could all benefit from. Thanks for the insight.

  22. chad waters

    February 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Wayne!

    Great Blog!

    Great tips as always that relate to a true events and help in our community Life Leadership business to take it to the next level!

    God Bless

  23. Dave Begley

    February 9, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Wayne you have all the winning combinations for success in one spot all that is needed is action and victory will follow in any area you choose to apply them to .

    Awesome job my friend

  24. Barry bauman

    February 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks Wayne,
    This article speaks so loud to me and I need to learn some of these amazing points of team growth.
    I am so glad that years back John Lewis invited me to a seminar because my life has not been the same.
    The rich information that we are able to learn from Great Leaders as yourself is something way to easy to take for granted.
    So thank you for this excellent blog!
    About Changing Lives


    February 11, 2014 at 3:51 am






  26. Turhan & Carol Berne

    February 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    This is an awesome blog that everyone should read!! Thanks so much for taking the time to research several books and include in this teamwork article.

  27. Dan Dery

    February 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Wow, awsome post Wayne!
    It has become more obvious to me that a winning team MUST consist of individuals committed to personal growth, and that personal growth MUST be the strongest and most consistent in relationships!
    Thanks , Dan

    • Rick & Lindsay McGuire

      February 16, 2014 at 1:20 am



  28. Debbie Brooks

    February 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Amazing post, loved it!


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