“Hard Hat” is the term Jon Gordon uses in the book to symbolize the blue-collar work ethic he wants every teammate of a great team to develop. In telling the story of George Boiardi, Jon shares 21 ways in which you can become a better team mate not only in sports but in every area of your life.
- Sweat More
As a team member, one of the things you control everyday is your effort. When you work harder and sweat more, you bring out the best in yourself and your team without saying a word.
- Well done is better than well said.
There’s nothing wrong with words. Sometimes we need a pep talk, an inspirational message. But most of the time what we need is to be challenged. You speak most powerfully through your actions, not your voices.
- Be humble and hungry.
The minute you think you’ve arrived at the door of greatness, it will get slammed in your face. The key to success is to be a lifelong learner who continuously works hard to improve. In this state of mind, best is not the permanent state because there is always room to be better.
- Pursue excellence.
Implement 1% rule which says that a little more time, more energy, more effort, more practice, more focus and more care can bring big results. Little things add up over time to create big results.
- Share positive contagious energy.
Emotions and attitudes are contagious. Stay positive and share your positive energy with others. Be a big dose of vitamin C for everyone around you, not an infectious disease.
- Don’t complain.
Things will not always go our way. There are situations that seem unfair. But when you work hard, stay positive and focus on improving yourself, things almost always work out in the end.
- Do it for your team, not for applause.
Great team mates don’t take credit, they give it. They have an ego to be great, but they are willing to give up their ego to serve the team and be even greater. The team doesn’t care if you’re a superstar. They care if you’re a super teammate. Put the team first and be the super team mate your team needs.
- Show you’re committed.
You can’t just talk how committed you’re, you must demonstrate your commitments. To want commitment from others, first be committed yourself.
- Never take a play off.
Be consistent. When you’re inconsistent, it makes it difficult for your team to trust and count on you.
- Hold yourself and your team accountable.
Hold yourself accountable first to expect the best in you. If you do so, the rest of your team will rise up to your expectations.
- Treat everyone with respect and expect everyone to do the same.
Respect and value each person for who they are as a person, not what they do for a living.
- Give all and take nothing.
Don’t be an energy vampire that sucks the energy out of the people around them. Be an energy fountain, not a drain. People may forget what you say or do to them, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
Talking in team meetings and giving team speeches isn’t enough. Great communication requires one-to-one conversations that help build relationships. Great conversations also extend beyond the work at hand.
When the team is connected, me dissolves into us. Bonds are strengthened. Relationships are developed and team becomes much stronger. After all, you can be the smartest person in the room but if you don’t connect with others, you’ll fail as a team member.
- Become a ‘Come with Me’ teammate.
‘Do it because I said so’ is a no-no. Run with your team, practice with your team, and sweat with your team. Always walk the talk and your team will carry on your legacy.
- Practice selfless compassion.
Instead of thinking less of yourself, think of yourself less. It bears repeating that you don’t have to be great to serve but you must serve to be great.
- Show you care.
Embody the truth that great teammates care more than others. Care about your effort, your performance and how you’re impacting the team.
- Be a loyal friend.
Be a loyal friend and teammate. You’ll increase the supply of loyal friends and teammates. You’ll be more valuable than gold. You’ll be a rare gem.
- Love your team.
Love truly is the greatest leadership principle and team-building strategy on the planet. Don’t wait for your team to love you. Love them first without expecting anything in return. The more you learn to love people unconditionally, the more you love your life.
You don’t always have to sacrifice your safety to be a great teammate. But you must be willing to give some of yourself for the greater good of the team. Sometimes you’re the star and sometimes you help the star.
- Leave the place better than you found it.
Great leaders and teammates don’t just impact you today; they impact you for the rest of your life. Better still, great teams serve the masses and leave their marks on the community at large.
Bonus: Play ‘If you really knew me, you would know _____ about me’ game to connect the team in a deep and powerful way.