Last week, while discussing the topic of leadership at an event, I shared the thoughts of one of my mentors, Austin Bunch, who was passionate about followership. Leadership and followership are two concepts that get a lot of attention. This conversation was on my mind when I listened to Simon Sinek’s conversation with Shane Battier.
Shane is a memorable Duke basketball player who set an NCAA record for games played and went on to a respectable NBA career. He shared the challenge of going from a high-performance team in college to one of the worst in the NBA.
According to Bing (excellent GAI), some of the key takeaways from their conversation are:
- Teammateship is not about being friends or liking each other, but about respecting each other and having a common vision.
- Trust is the foundation of teammateship. It is built by being vulnerable, honest, and consistent with your actions and words.
- Discomfort is a sign of growth and learning. Teammates should challenge each other to get out of their comfort zones and improve their skills.
- Teammateship requires humility, self-awareness, and empathy. Teammates should acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, seek feedback, and support each other’s needs.
- Teammateship is a choice and a skill that can be developed over time. It takes practice, patience, and commitment to become a better teammate.
We’ve seen teams filled with all-stars lose to teams that played as a team. Shane and Simon discuss the challenges of teammates who often perform at A levels and then at D levels. They often excuse the D performance by pointing out the A. Simon and Shane reflect that an A grade and D grade averages out to a C, and you don’t win championships with Cs. It’s better to be consistent and coachable than to depend on the occasional A performance. This episode is one I will bookmark and listen to again.
And I promise, I’m not going to become that guy in the Allstate commercial:
We have a great team at the Charleston School of Business and the institution. We have a great group of Deans across the institution, and I know we know that each of us has strengths and weaknesses, but each is working to improve the entire institution. The culture amongst the deans is a teammateship culture. We have colleagues across our School who are true teammates who have each other’s backs. I look forward to seeing this dynamic play out on the basketball court at Monday’s season opener.
Simon ends with this thought:
“You don’t get to choose if you are a teammate or not. You have to be a teammate. The value of teaching people teammateship may be as, if not more, valuable than teaching people leadership.”
YOU make a difference.