A Part of Something Greater
Team players crave the benefits of teamwork so much that they are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices.
“The most difficult thing for individuals to do when they are part of a team is to sacrifice. Without sacrifice, you’ll never know your team’s potential, or your own.”Pat Riley
Teamwork in the Workplace
History is full of examples of stars that missed out on being champions because they weren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices.
Conversely, great players would rather share the spotlight than walk away with individual honors. Because they help inspire the team’s willingness to make sacrifices, they reap the benefits of teamwork most.
The following story illustrates how a true champion experienced both individual and team success because of his strong desire to make those around him better.
A “Magic” Story …
… taken from The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players, by Pat Riley (1993).
As a youth, Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a very gifted basketball player. During his brief college career, he led his Michigan State Spartans to win the NCAA title. He was drafted into the NBA early, departing college after his sophomore year.
In his first year with by the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic was named Rookie of the Year. Once again, he led a talented and veteran team.
After winning the NBA title, Coach Pat Riley told Magic that he had never seen anyone like him in more than twenty years of playing and coaching basketball, that is, someone who combined great skills with a great attitude.
When Coach Riley asked how he came to be that way, Magic told him that as a youth his teams won one championship after another. As he would look around to share his joy, his teammates looked miserable.
They did not feel the same way; something was missing.
Magic told Coach Riley that he was always the biggest and the best. His coaches told him to shoot, but this made his teammates feel like nobodies. Magic did not want it to be that way.
“My driving belief is this: great teamwork is the only way to reach our ultimate moments, to create breakthroughs that define our careers, to fulfill our lives with a sense of lasting significance”Pat Riley
A Part of Something Greater
The lessons Magic learned as a youth caused him to develop an overriding need to share his success with others. This shaped his attitude and inspired him to be an incredible leader.
He was a great communicator and as Magic grew with the Lakers, he learned to make his teammates better along the way. Magic became known for his unselfish play.
As the team worked together, they began realizing how much the benefits of teamwork outweighed individual reward. Between 1980-1991, the L.A. Lakers played the NBA Championship series nine times in 12 seasons, win five titles.
Magic led these teams and enabled his teammates to truly be a part of something greater! Imagine capturing “Magic’s” team player attitude for your organization.