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Personal and Team Improvements

The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player – John Maxwell

1.         Adaptable         :           If you won’t change for the Team, the Team may change you.



Inflexibility is one of the worst human failings. You can learn to check impetuosity, overcome fear with confidence, and laziness with discipline. But for rigidity of mind there is no antidote. It carries the seeds of its own destruction.


            Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.


            To become more adaptable…..

§ Get into the habit of learning.

§ Revaluate your role.

§ Think outside the lines.


2.         Collaborative    :           Working together precedes winning together.


            All your strength is in union, all your danger is in discord.


            Collaboration is multiplication.


            To become a collaborative team player…..

§ Think win-win-win.

§ Complement others.

§ Take yourself out of the picture.


3.         Committed       :           There are no half hearted champions


            The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of event issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.


            Ordinary people with commitment can make an extraordinary impact on their world.


            To improve your level of commitment…..

§ Tie your commitments to your values.

§ Evaluate your teammates’ commitment

“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it” … George Halas


4.         Communicative            :           A team is many voices with a single heart


            Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.


            To improve your communication …..

§ Be candid

§ Be quick (24 hours rule)

§ Be inclusive


5.         Competent       :           If you can’t, your team won’t


            People forget how fast you did your job – but they remember how well you did it.


            Highly competent people have something in common:

-                       they are committed to excellence

-                       they never settle for average

-                       they pay attention to detail

-                       they perform with consistency


“…… inspiration is easy. Implementation is the hard part…..”


            To improve your competence …..

§ Focus yourself professionally

§ Sweat the small stuff

§ Give more attention to implementation


6.         Dependable      :           Teams go to Go-to people


            Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.


            Dependability is more than ability alone.


            Essence of dependability :

-                       Pure Motive

-                       Responsibility

-                       Sound thinking

-                       Consistent contribution


“In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have …. Is the ability to take on responsibility.’


“It is not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what is required”


While motivation addresses why people are dependable, responsibility indicates that they want to be dependable.


            Poet Edward Everett Hale once wrote:


                        I am only one

                        But still I am one

                        I cannot do everything

                        But still I can do something

                        And because I cannot do everything

                        I will not refuse to do the something that I can do


            To improve your dependability …


§ Check your motive

§ Discover what your word is worth

§ Find someone to hold you accountable



7.         Disciplined       :           Where there’s a will, there’s a win


            What we do on some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are; and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.


            “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability”.


            Team player must possess:

-                       disciplined thinking

-                       disciplined emotions

-                       disciplined actions


Action separates the winners from the losers. The parent who comes home when promised instead of working late is practicing disciplined action and when they do, the other people who are depending on them benefit.


To become a more disciplined team player….

§ Strengthen your work habits

§ Take on a challenge

§ Tame your tongue


8.         Enlarging         :           Adding value to teammates is invaluable


            The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought to other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.


            If you want to enlarge others, then you have to …..

§ Believe in others before they believe in you

§ Serve others before they you

§ Add value to others before you add value to you.


“People will always move toward anyone who increases them and away from others who devalue them”


9.         Enthusiastic     :           You heart is the source of energy for the team


            “I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile”


            “Nothing great will ever be achieved without enthusiasm”


            “Enthusiasm is contagious. It’s difficult to remain neutral or indifferent in the presence of a positive thinker”


            To improve enthusiasm….


§ Show a sense of urgency

§ Be willing to do more

§ Strive for excellence


10         Intentional        :           Make every action count


            “Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can”


            “One is not borne into the world to do everything, but to do something”


            To improve your intentionalilty…..

§ Explore your strengths and weakness

§ Specialize in your specialty

§ Plan your calendar with purpose


11.        Mission Conscious      :           The big picture is coming in loud and clear


            The secret of success is constancy of purpose


            “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how



12.      Prepared          :           Preparation can mean the difference between winning and                                               losing


           Spectacular achievements come from unspectacular preparation.


           It’s better to prepare than to repair.


           To improve preparedness….

§ Become a process thinker (get ready)

§ Do more research

§ Learn from mistakes


13.        Relational         :           if you get along, others will go along


            Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. Most of us can trace our successes to pivotal relationships


Relationships are the glue that holds team members together


            Look out for these characteristics;

-                       respect

-                       shared experiences

-                       trust

-                       reciprocity

-                       mutual enjoyment


14.        Self-improving:           To improve the team, improve yourself


            “Perfection is what you’re striving for, but perfection is not impossibility.

            However, striving for perfection is not an impossibility. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts”.


            “Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow”


            “It is not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts”.


            “A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be”.


             Be highly teachable, plan your progress.


15.        Selfless            :           There is no I in Team


            “A man has cause to regret only when he sows and no one reaps.”


            “When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, it’s time to turn off the light.”


§ Be generous

§ Display loyalty

§ Value interdependence over independence


“You have not lived today successfully unless you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.”



16.        Solution Orientated      :           Make a resolution to find the solution


            “Don’t find fault, find a remedy”


            To make yourself a more solution-orientate team player…..

§ Refuse to give up

§ Refocus your thinking

§ Rethink your strategy

§ Repeat the process


“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”


17.        Tenacious        :           Never, never, never quit


            “to see far is one thing, going there is another”

            “to finish first, you must finish”


            Being tenacious means ….


-                       Giving all that you have, not more than you have

-                       Work with determination

-                       Quitting when the job is done, not when you’re tired