A guy walks into a bar… ok, maybe he walks into a meeting, and he sees three people talking. One is an ideal team player, another thinks he’s an ideal a player, and the third doesn’t even know he’s a part of the team!

When it’s Not Working

How many times have you felt “if only these guys would act like a team…”? Frustrated. Upset. Maybe even ready to go to a bar yourself?

Synergy is magic. Good people will look for a good team, and they can be quick to leave a dysfunctional group.

To get back to productivity and synergy, sometimes all that is needed is to agree upon and promote a few behaviors.

 Three Qualities that Make an Ideal Team Player

Last week when I flew Southwest Airlines, I was amazed at how quickly and smoothly the crew handled the flight. No doubt they had a system in place that works.

Teamwork makes a big difference. With it you will get a lot done, and make a lot of money. Without it you are dead in the water. Maybe even without a floatation device…

Let’s look to the businesses that have cracked the code and do what they do! Good teams promote these virtues, and even hire based on them.  Here are three qualities you can promote (adapted from The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni):

  1. Be diligent and self-motivated

Team members should have made the agreement that doing a good job is customary, and everyone should be held to this standard. Moreover, people should want to do their best.

  1. Err on the side of being humble vs being arrogant

No one enjoys working on a team with a hot-head or someone who thinks they are superior to the rest. Those who show humility are much better teammates.

  1. Learn to use people skills

People smarts are few and far between, but necessary for teams to work well together. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, it’s true. Take the time to allow members to get to know and care about each other, and also spend time teaching them to develop people skills. When conflicts arise, they will be able to keep interactions both productive and courteous.

Keeping Traits Top of Mind:

Once everyone knows and agrees upon these three traits, you can develop and maintain them. First, you can be explicit about expectations, posting and declaring them aloud as a reminder of standards.

Second, you can spotlight these virtues in teammates and (gasp) model the behavior yourself! When you are noticing the noteworthy behavior of someone in the group, tell people this way, “yesterday I noticed (name of team member who showed the behavior) doing x. It’s a great example of (state one of the traits) Thanks, that makes for a great team.

Third, address violations in a matter of fact way. In my early days in the classroom we would always say ‘nip it in the bud’ meaning to catch early saves the blooming of unwanted behaviors. Besides, done correctly, constructive feedback is appreciated by people who want to do a good job.

Good Teams Make Money

My teenage daughter talked me into pulling into the drive thru at Chick-fil-A today. We witnessed teamwork in action. Happy, helpful, efficient employees working together to fix our lunch in a jiffy.

This was not by accident. The company values hiring folks that are humble and hard working. And training most likely includes learning how to interact well with people.


There is a direct correlation between good communication and sales & revenue. When executives and leaders value team success and promote these three traits, their teams perform better.

 If they don’t look good, you don’t look good!


In her Keynote Speech, Laura Porreca empowers people to solve their own problems. Her breakout sessions are a deeper dive into leadership and team success.  Hire her to work with your people today! (702) 339-6874