A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me!

“Get over yourself…it’s about preserving the team, not your ego.”

Carol Strider (my dear mother)

I had the pleasure of traveling to the beautiful little town of Kodiak recently. I work in Kodiak every three months or so; I typically have a “theme” associated with the training I develop and present for my client there. This past week, the theme was “teams.”

I asked both employees and leaders alike to consider what it means to be on a team. Of course, they offered the following: they work together, they share the same goals, they help each other out, etc.

I pushed a little harder.

I offered my thoughts on “good team members” and challenged them to honestly assess, if they were given the chance to create a dream team, would they choose themselves?

What about you? 

Are you consistently reliable?

  • Do you do your fair share of the work?
  • Do you rarely, if ever, complain?
  • Do you CONSISTENTLY follow through?
  • Can you, more often than not, be counted on?


Do you communicate constructively?

  • Do you speak up and express your ideas clearly, directly, honestly and with respect?
  • Do you assert your needs, your ideas and your opinions?
  • Do you consistently communicate in a positive and respectful manner?
  • Do you apologize or concede when appropriate?


Do you listen actively?

  • Do you absorb, understand and consider ideas without debating or arguing?
  • Do you seek to understand the other’s perspective?
  • Do you listen for intent, not argument?
  • Can you receive criticism without reacting negatively?
  • Do you discipline yourself to listen first, speak second?


Do you ACTIVELY participate?

  • Do you come prepared to work?
  • Do you discipline yourself to be on time for meetings/make efficient use of your time?
  • Do you actively and positively engage in activities and discussions?
  • Do you take initiative when work needs to be done?
  • Do you demonstrate a “what else can I do?” attitude?


Do you share openly?

  • Do needyou willingly share knowledge, time, experience and information?
  • Do you take initiative to ensure your colleagues are informed?
  • Do you participate actively in “informal sharing” across disciplines/levels in the organization?


Do you cooperate and pitch in?

  • Do you work WITH others, regardless of their role, level or popularity in the organization?
  • Do you look beyond differences concerning style and perspective?
  • Do you positively respond to requests for assistance?
  • Do you pro-actively OFFER assistance?


Do you demonstrate flexibility?

  • Do you roll with the punches WITHOUT complaint?
  • Do you withhold from “whining” about change?
  • Are you able to keep an open mind and consider different points of view?
  • Do you keep your ego and “bullheaded stubbornness” out of the equation?


Are you truly committed?

  • Do you demonstrate you care about the work, the customer, the team and the organization?commit
  • Are you willing to engage in uncomfortable feedback or discussions to ensure the objectives are met?
  • Can you put self-preservation aside and let the team’s goals take priority?


Do you work as a problem solver?

  • Are you willing to deal with all types of problems, not just the easy ones?
  • Do you understand the need for compromise and creativity?
  • Do you withhold from blaming others?
  • Are you able to “move on” instead of dwell on things?
  • Do you actively face problems, challenges or conflict?


Do you respect and support others?

  • Do you consistently demonstrate courtesy, manners and professionalism?
  • Do you show empathy and compassion when appropriate?
  • Do you unconditionally offer respect and support?
  • Do you refrain from poking fun, criticizing or otherwise offending others for sport/fun?


The above ten characteristics are what I believe need to be demonstrated by great team members. These characteristics are what I look for when I’m hiring staff, when I’m looking for volunteers, and when I’m building my teams.

So this begs the question…if you were building a team, would you choose you?


AcceptanceAccountabilityCommunicationsEmployee EngagementEmployee RelationsEngagementForgivenessGood FaithHuman ResourcesLeadershipRecognitionTeamworkTrust

Heather Kinzie • April 7, 2015

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