Irreplaceable Team Members

All of us are on a team at some stage in life.  As kids, we're in teams for things such as sports and band.  As adults it comes in the form of the teams of people we work with in our jobs, the places we serve in the community, and can even appear in working with others on community projects or leadership teams.  Over the years I have worked with tons of teams of various forms, functions, and sizes.  Here's some things I've noticed about team members who excel and make themselves irreplaceable.

  1. They are SOLUTION people rather than PROBLEM people.  Anyone can identify the problem.  Anyone can point out what is wrong.  When a problem arises, great team members approach their leaders, not just with the problem, but with a list of possible solutions.
  2. They are TEAM focused instead of POSITION focused.  Without fail, if a team of people form for any purpose, there will be people who begin to seek out position and power.  Great team members realize that the good of the TEAM is always more important than any individual credit or credentials.
  3. They see other people as a RESOURCE and not COMPETITION.  For many individuals, there is a natural human tendency that exists to see other people as competition on a team.  Great leaders and team members understand that people are their most valuable resource, so the INVEST time building relationships with others
  4. They understand VISION and how to FOLLOW well.  Everyone has an opinion about how to do something, how to approach something, or about what they feel is best for a situation.  Great team members understand authority and they follow well, knowing that there are times where the leaders see things they don't see.
  5. They never EXPECT others to do what they WON'T.  It amazes me how many people think leadership is gained through POSITION or title.  The truth is, great team members lead by doing the difficult things themselves and modeling for others the expected behavior/standard/action.  They are the first ones to show up.  They work the hardest.  They lead by example.
We all find ourselves on a team from time to time - at work, in school, in the community, at church.  If you want to make yourself irreplaceable but duplicatable follow these five simple suggestions.  Your team or organization will be better because of it.  And after all, isn't that the purpose of a team?

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