Every single one of us has been on a team. Whether it’s a little league sports team, a group working on a school project, a corporate team working on a sales strategy, or a rock ’n’ roll band, we will all experience excitement or disappointment as we work with other people to accomplish something. And undoubtedly, on every single team, there is a star—a front person, a leader, and a face of the team.
In NSYNC, it was Justin Timberlake. For many in the Civil Rights Movement, it was Martin Luther King Jr. In your corporate office, it might be your CEO. On your state championship-winning high school football team, maybe it was your quarterback. In every group, there’s a star, but teams would not exist, and certainly wouldn’t succeed, without the other contributing players.
I want this post to serve as a reminder to all of us that teams are made up of many valuable members. If you’re the star of your team, you need your teammates to make things happen. And if you’re in a supporting role, the work you do is important and vital to the success of your team.
Right now, the NBA finals are happening, and it reminds me of an example of the ultimate team player who you may have never heard of. Most people agree that Michael Jordan is one of the top basketball players of all time (we won’t argue the Lebron/Jordan debate here). One night, Jordan scored a career high of 69 points in one game. That same night, there was a rookie on his team named Stacy King that scored one point. After the game, they interviewed King and asked him about the game and Michael Jordan’s remarkable performance. I love his response: “I will never forget this game. This was the night that Michael Jordan and I combined the score at 70 points.”
Each of us can laugh at that statement, but it serves as a strong reminder. King was not put on the team to score a lot of points. His role was to rebound, play defense, and fill in the gaps, so his contribution played a role in one star getting to stand out. Yet, the whole team benefited. His efforts made the whole team succeed.
For some of you—on your team at your office, in your church, on your kickball team, in your nonprofit—you’re the star. Don’t forget the people that help support what you do.
For others, you know what you do is important, but you get discouraged when the work you do is thankless, and you don’t get recognized for your efforts. Remember, your work is important.
All of us, regardless of our role, play an essential piece in putting together a team, especially a team that’s going to win.
All of us, regardless of our role, play an essential piece in putting together a team, especially a team that’s going to win. @KevinPaulScott
I have a new book coming out June 26th called The Lens of Leadership. It’s all about perspective because I believe that way we view things changes how we do things. You can preorder the book here!