5 Steps to Building an All Star Team (Outside of Sports)Apr 01, 2021
I was the best player on my high school basketball team. As a freshman.
And it sucked.
It sucked so bad that I started playing bad to try to not stick out so much.
That didn’t work either.
See that’s the thing with sticking out. You either stick out and that’s hard. Or you play small and that is WAAYYY worse.
Does my story sound familiar? If you are an ambitious, motivated person, an athlete-minded badass who puts 110% into everything you do, chances are, you’ve had to make a similar choice: Stand out and risk being ostracized OR make yourself smaller to make others around you feel comfortable.
Making that choice sucks. You shouldn’t HAVE to make that choice.
Here’s the good news and the bad news (I'll start with the bad news)
The bad news is that we can’t always control who we are around, and we definitely can’t control other people. There will be people that inhibit your path to success. It's up to you to not let them have that power (more on this another time.)
The good news is that we can be more intentional about the team we choose to be on in our LIFE. You get to choose the people who get a front row seat to your life. Who are welcomed into your inner circle. Who are privy to your deepest hopes and fears. And that’s what this blog is all about:
Finding your team.
And I'm talking: The kind of team that wants you to stick out if it means reaching your fullest potential.
Why Having a Good Team is Important
Your team should raise you up and push you to be better. Then should want you to reach your full potential, even if that means being better or more successful than they are. But here's the catch : They should likewise be working toward their full potential. So much so that you're not the most successful ALL the time.
It may feel good to be the big fish but if you are the best on your team at all times, you are self-sabotaging.
You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with - Jim Rohn
If your team is made up of action-takers, risk-takers, and people who don’t take no for an answer, just being around those people will bring out the best parts of who you are, give you energy, and push you to be the best version of yourself.
On the other hand, if the people on your team are not playing to your level, you’ll either subconsciously hold yourself back like I did or you’ll find a whole lot of resistance internally and externally. And you’ll likely feel really alone.
I don’t want that for you; you deserve better.
The power of community is immeasurable. I can say with complete honesty that I wouldn’t have ever been the player I was if it weren’t for the badass women and coaches I competed with throughout my career. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t have a team who inspires me.
- My husband: Who pushes me to be better even when I really don’t want to hear it. Sorry babe for all the times I picked a fight when you were just trying to push me to a new level :)
- My best friend: She’s the one who says ‘Linds….’ and then hits me with a truth bomb.
- My PPT team: Who call me out on my s*** and make sure I am always practicing what I preach.
- My parents and brothers who have always believed in my crazy dreams and often saw the possibility before I did.
The list goes on...
When I think of that Jim Rohn quote, I can’t help but think: What would my life look like if my 5 people were unmotivated, stagnant, and self-victimizing? It’s easy to think my amazing will and self-discipline would win out; But NONE of us are THAT motivated. We all go with the flow at some point. We all choose the path of least resistance. None of us really want to stick out all the time.
Two Types of Teammates
When you start a new business, invest in travel, buy your dream house, go back to school, make the team, and generally live life to the fullest, you’ll notice that the people on your team will separate into two categories:
- Friends, family, and colleagues who are genuinely excited and motivated by your success
- Friends, family, and colleagues who struggle to celebrate your success because it brings out their own insecurities.
Because here’s the truth: When you do great things, you shed a bright light on the people around you.
When that light shines on people who are also hustling, growing, and reaching for that next level your light gives them energy and creates a forcefield that empowers the people around them AND gets reflected back to you.
When that light shines on people who are not living to their fullest potential your light illuminates their insecurities, stirs up self doubt, and forces them to reckon with their own choices.
When It’s Time to Make Cuts
Yikes I know that’s not a fun thought.
And I’m not saying you should ‘cancel’ everyone from your life that doesn’t fit into an ideal mold. Not at all! I am saying it's important to be intentional about the people you spend the most time with, and I’m also saying that it’s okay to outgrow your social circle if that means pursuing your higher self.
And sometimes making cuts is the only way to make space for people who are equipped to support you as you grow.
Now, I understand that this is a nuanced situation. After all, if the people you spend the most time with are your colleagues or family, ‘making cuts’ is not always a viable option. But whether that means limiting your time with those people, or increasing the time you spend with others, there’s always something you can do to make your team stronger.
Here are some signs it may be time to move on:
- You feel drained after spending time with them
- You spend a lot of energy trying to keep yourself motivated
- You feel relief when they cancel plans
- You find yourself making excuses for or downplaying your success
- You spend a lot of energy building them up
- They don’t give you good advice
- You feel guilty for your success when you’re around them
- They don’t ask you questions about your life
- They often play ‘devils advocate’ when you talk about your dreams
5 Steps to Building an All Star Team
1. They Are Smarter Than You - A good teammate should be able to teach you something, and learn something from you. Whether they are book smart, street smart, eternal optimists, or doing the exact thing you want to do, take stock and ask yourself, what can I learn from my teammates?
2. They Aren’t Afraid to Call You Out - Are you doing what you said you would do? Are you taking the risks you said you would? Are you living in a way that you’re proud of? Your teammates should be able to lovingly call you out on your bullshit, and you should be able to do the same for them.
3. They Think Your Crazy Goals Are Reasonable - How often do we hold ourselves back because we struggle to believe the goal we have is really possible? Surround yourself with people who think your big, crazy goals are absolutely, 100% attainable, realistic (and maybe even a little too small). You grow to the size of your cage.
4. They Hold Space For You - A good teammate is able to hold space for you, your dreams, and your struggles. And they’re able to do all of that without making it about them. They should show genuine interest in your life, and be invested in your success. This is a true test of empathy.
5. They are Good Accountability Buddies - Accountability is a huge part of being a good teammate, but it’s often misconstrued. Accountability does not mean outsourcing responsibility and relying on other people to hold you to your word. It means creating a space where you say what you mean, and mean what you say. It’s a partnership between equals that is greater than the sum of its parts.
I think of it this way: A good accountability partner is someone whose potential disappointment is enough to get your butt out of bed for a 5AM workout.
When you have a good team, here's what it feels like:
- You’re not afraid to be your best
- You start dreaming big, like really big
- You start seeing real progress
- You feel uncomfortable, but in a good way
- You’re motivated by the people around you
- You have real accountability from people you admire.
So many of us spend so much of our energy trying to keep ourselves motivated, to keep our vibration high, to self-educate. When you have a team that has the same inner beliefs and the same drive, the group energy props you up and motivates you so you can spend more time actually doing the work.
Are you on a good team? Are you a good teammate? What’s one thing you can do today to make your team better?
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