Career Success Advice from the Super Bowl Champs

I was in New York yesterday where it was hard to escape the Super Bowl hype.  They had a great parade for the Giants.  As I reflected on the game and comments I heard from the Giants players and coaches after the game.  Most of them focused on the fact that the Giants are a very tight team.

There is some common sense career success advice here.  High performing organizations need people with good teamwork skills.  In today’s world, very little gets done without teamwork.  In honor of the Giants’ Super Bowl win and their team approach to football, I’ve put together a list of 21 characteristics of great team players.  How many are true of you?

21 Characteristics of Great Team Players

I have found that great team players have a lot in common.  Here are 21 characteristics of all great team players.  How many of them are true of you?

1. Technical Competence – You have to be good at what you do if you’re going to be able to contribute to a team.  Master your technical discipline.
2. Sharing Orientation – Be willing to share your knowledge, expertise and ideas.  The old saying, “Knowledge is power” is true only is you are willing to share what you know with your teammates.
3. Good Interpersonal Skills – You have to be good at building relationships if you want to be a great team player.  To build strong relationships think of the team and others first.  Ask yourself what you can do for the team and its members – not what they can do for you.
4. Responsible – Do your part.  Great team players do what they say they’ll do.  They contribute.  They ask for help only when they have exhausted all of their resources.
5. Positive – Stay up beat, even when your team is under the gun.  Visualize the thrill of success, not the pain of failure.  Help your teammates see the positive in the most difficult of circumstances.
6. Care About Stakeholders – Most teams have some external stakeholders who are depending on them.  Make sure that you understand what each of your team’s stakeholders want and need.  Do you meet to meet their needs.
7. Welcome and Use Feedback – Listen to your teammates.  Welcome their feedback on your participation.  Use what you learn.
8. Meet Commitments – Do what you need to do to help your team succeed.  If you can’t meet a commitment, let your teammates know right away.
9. Honest – Everybody wants to work with people of integrity.  Be honest with yourself and your teammates.
10. Initiative – Help the team move forward.  Make suggestions, think of new and different ways to accomplish the team’s goals.  Be willing to take the lead/
11. Trusting – Believe that your teammates want the team to succeed.  Trust them.  If you don’t understand why they did something, engage them in conversation.
12. Trustworthy – Keep confidences, do what you say you’ll do, put the goals of the team first.
13. Consensus Builder – Actively work to find solutions that meet the needs of all team members and stakeholders.  Use compromise as a last resort.
14. Own Team Problems – Take personal responsibility for the team’s success.  If everyone does this, the team is bound to succeed.
15. Empathy – See things through the eyes of your team members.  Do your best to understand their points of view.
16. Respect Others –You can disagree with a person’s ideas without demeaning him or her personally.  Respect the dignity of every human being on your team.
17. Resolve Conflict Positively — Look for positive ways to resolve conflict.  Find small points of agreement in disagreements.  Find creative solutions to disagreements that satisfy everybody.
18. Focus on Task and Process – Pay attention to not only what the team does, but how it does it.  If you find the team getting bogged down, make suggestions on how to get past the bottleneck.
19. Humble – Take your share of the credit, but remember you’re part of a team.  Give credit to others where it is due.
20. Supportive – Be there for your teammates.  Help them succeed so the team can succeed.  Share your knowledge and wisdom to help others grow and succeed.
21. Flexible – This is the most important characteristic of all.  Be willing to suspend your point of view to learn about what others think.  Be open to changing your mind.

The career success coach point her is simple common sense.  Branding yourself as a team player can help you create the life and career success you deserve.  If you listened to their post-game comments, the New York Giants — who won the Super Bowl on Sunday —  are a group of team oriented guys.  Teamwork is as important in business as it is on the football field.  Teamwork requires flexibility.  Flexibility requires that you be willing to suspend your point of view to learn about what others think.  Be open to changing your mind.  Be a great team player.  Be flexible.

That’s the career advice I found in the New York Giants Super Bowl victory.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  After all, we’re all on the same team here.  This blog is about helping all of us create the life and career success we all deserve.  Comments encourage discussion.  Discussion facilitates teamwork and career success.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I appreciate you for being on my team.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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