I’m a “team-first” leader… right?

I have learned that not everyone is a team player. If asked, just about everyone will tell you they are (especially in interview room). However, we live in a society of “getting what’s mine…” and “looking out for number one…” After all, we are selfish by nature, right? Certainly, many business owners, leaders and CEOs have enjoyed great “success” by employing me-first attitudes and/or “dictator” tactics. Maybe it’s just that I’m not smart enough to pull that off, but I prefer the team-first approach. A team-first leader will do more than just give lip-service to this concept of teamwork. They understand that their success often depends on the success of others. When was the last time you heard a story of a soldier ignoring the commands of his superiors and charging into enemy territory alone and single-handedly defeating an entire army? That stuff may sell movies tickets, but it’s not the best blueprint for victory. Now, before you begin to make mental notes on those in your business or organization that are not team players, perhaps a little self-examination is in order. My Uncle once told me that many people live like they are in a movie about their life and everyone else is just an extra. Is this you? Are your employees/co-workers just pawns in a game where you are the king? Do you genuinely care about building a great team and investing personally in your team members? Do you have a genuine interest in other members of your team becoming successful? Do you want to enjoy success with your team or do you hoard any and all success for yourself? By now, some are likely exiting this post because I’m “reading their mail” or because this just seems too unattainable. Maybe it just comes across as fluffy, wishful thinking. The fact is that building a great team isn’t easy. Keeping a great team great isn’t easy either. It requires constant effort, sacrifice and self-evaluation on the part of a leader. But it can be done; And I believe the most gratifying successes are those achieved with teamwork. What kind of leader do you want to be? Do you aspire to be a leader who promotes teamwork and shared success? If so, what are you doing that might be preventing that from happening? What are you willing to change? Are you willing to change? What are you willing to sacrifice to make others successful? The bad news is TEAM doesn’t happen overnight. The good news is that it is extremely rewarding and enjoyable to be a part of. How do you measure up?

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