Most people define themselves by what they do, and others define you by what they have done. Have you ever listened to someone introduce someone? "Hey, this is Bob, and he's a dentist," or "he plays baseball." These simple statements tell a story about who you are and how you fit in.
Scripture tells us how we fit in, even at work. Paul told the Church at Colossae to work as if we were working for the Lord. Understanding that statement shows us that there is a power dynamic. We are working for Christ in everything we do. Where we work is where God has called us to ministry, whether we are working on a task or for an employer. So, how do I do it well if I work for God's purpose? I stop thinking that my earthly success defines me and become a great teammate.
How do you become a good teammate to your family, friends, and at work? There is a power dynamic in each of these, and how we work through and inside that dynamic says a lot about who we are. Christians should be able to lead and follow as needed; that's part of our ministry. The best teammates and leaders recognize that dynamic and know how to negotiate it for a greater purpose.
A good teammate avoids:
Being passive. Some people look to the leader for all direction and motivation. They aren't doing anything wrong, but they also aren't doing anything. Remember the "Parable of the Talents" in Matthew 25.
Being careless with your "words." Don't just say, "Yes! That's a great idea!" This is how bad ideas grow potent "legs."
Being the person with all the answers after the fact and twice the negativity.
Being the person who only supports the right decision when others do. Think about how often God told Joshua to be strong and courageous.
A good teammate IS:
Ethical - take an active and positive role in the relationship.
When things are off, be responsible and provide independent and constructive criticism. The goal should be to create a better outcome for your teammate and mission success. Good teammates get the job done without sacrificing everyone along the way.
Committed - to the organization and your teammates. Be someone others can count on.
Be proactive with your leadership to help ensure all angles are covered.
Always Learning. We don't know everything, and learning to view things from different angles helps us be better teammates.
Be humble (If I need to explain this, you need more help than this post).
Being a good teammate is like pushing someone to run a little faster. It's a process that takes energy and requires a unique balance so you don't run over them. We all shift between leader and follower in multiple domains. I believe to be a good leader. You must be a good teammate.
Got questions? Reach out.
Jason Howard is a Christian who has been blessed with a loving family and great friends. His passion and efforts are using his experience as a Command Sergeant Major and knowledge of Organizational Psychology to provide solutions with a purpose.