No one person can do it all. The challenge is to overcome our self-centered thoughts and to willingly accept that other people can have better ideas. Having led all kinds of different teams in the last twenty-five years, from sports to SEALs to companies and charities, I have discovered seven traits that characterize unstoppable teammates. These are the general traits required—the must-haves for powerful team dynamics—regardless of the team’s circumstances and challenges. The good news is that we can all develop these traits to a greater degree. View the infographic.
Unstoppable Teams are Learning Machines with a curiosity to learn new skills and develop mastery of new subjects. The skills I’m referring to are a person’s willingness, capacity, and curiosity to learn new concepts and apply them to the right circumstances.
Perspective comes from experience—how a person thinks and has responded to past challenges and obstacles. This trait reflects a thoughtfulness about the way past experiences and challenges have shaped attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.
How people communicate is critical to team dynamics. The courage, ability and willingness to express ideas and emotions is a key characteristic of teammates who make an impact. You can be the smartest or most creative person on the planet, but if you aren’t able to communicate honestly, humbly, and persuasively, your contributions to the team will be limited.
Motivation and drive are seen in a teammate’s can-do spirit, strong work ethic, and hunger to succeed. People’s hunger and willingness to work hard—their drive—is critical to building healthy team dynamics. The value of this quality cannot be overstated.
Humility is relatively easy to spot in a teammate, and is evidenced by the qualities of inclusiveness, self-awareness, and respect for others. Humility is to a team as grease is to a machine; it enables all parts to function more smoothly and with less effort. Humility helps transition people from worrying about who is getting credit to focusing on how to get the job done.
The sixth quality to cultivate in unstoppable team members is flexibility—the ability to adjust one’s mind-set as conditions change. This trait refers to an openness to new perspectives and the adaptability to let go of one idea or belief to embrace another. When people become set in their ways, they become blind to other opportunities.
Selflessness involves a willingness to serve others and to place the truth and others’ interests above self-interest. How you serve your teammates will be the greatest predictor of how they will serve each other. You set the example; it’s up to you to take the first steps of selfless action before others will follow your lead.
Your job as team builder and leader is to develop a team that embodies these seven traits, to direct the team’s focus, and to set an example of the behaviors that will drive the actions required to succeed. How well people embrace the focus and behaviors that you prioritize will have a direct impact on the actions taken.
Learn More About Building Unstoppable Teams
Unstoppable Teams: The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership
Unstoppable Teams is the handbook for how to build care-based teams that will push people to achieve more than they ever thought possible. You can order your copy today!