The transformational team player drives a specific agenda in concert with other team members to bring about corporate transformation. The other team members rely on him or her to do their part perfectly and in sync with everyone else. The transformational team player will do well as a lone ranger, but will excel as a team player with others who share the same vision and passion for change because they will continually encourage each other like waves in the ocean. And multiply their productivity like the addition of pistons to an engine. The player does not need extraordinary gifts, abilities interest and talents. However, the player makes extraordinary effort to use his or her gifts abilities, interests and talents for the good of the team.
Passion is more than desire, it is a tangible urge to change improve, develop and create things anew. Developing this sense requires a high degree of focus and personal discipline. The player must be sold out heart and soul to the goal, to the extent that he or she is willing to volunteer their personal, private and public initiative to realize it. The person may be paid to pursue their passion, but the point is they volunteer their action and initiative to the cause and commit to it. Many people work jobs but do not volunteer their services to get the job done. A person without passion will tire, burn out and abandon the team in its hour of need.
One would consider that purpose should be more important than passion. But purpose without passion is punishment. However, purpose with passion is a power that moves mountains. Purpose directs passion. A person's passion is not useful until it is attached to purpose. Though the player may be searching for a cause or purpose to attach their passion, the player must submit to and believe in the purpose of the team to give the best result.
The player should have or urgently develop leadership skills. Being part of a transformational team will require initiative over and over again. The player will need to lead specific effort to create specific value for the team. The player may not have the technical expertise to achieve the desired result but must be able to mobilize the skill required to produce the desired value. It is not good for the team member to be able to explain why it can't be done, as a leader the players job is to work out how to get it done.
Warren Buffets' three hiring conditions for his staff are intelligence, energy and integrity. He says, all are important, but the first two without the last one could kill you. Professionals are known as problem solvers and quality guarantees. They are brought in when the going gets tough and solutions are required fast. However, the profession is not as crucial as the discipline to solve problems. Professionals in every subject are similar in their disciplined approach to challenges. Players face major challenges and barriers to get to goal, their success, in part, will be due to the discipline they have to focus on the job and systematically get it done. The professionals' virtue is that they are reliable.
Though many teams rely on their players' commitment during the season, the transformational team player must make that commitment before the season starts. The player must have commitment because the very object and the goal of the undertaking is not guaranteed and is often seen as impossible in the first place. It makes no sense to recruit a person who has no commitment when you know there are major challenges ahead. Commitment is needed when physical strength fails and feelings run dry.
There is teamwork – work done by a team and there is a team worker - a person who does the work of a team. Transformational team players are called upon to do more than the work of an individual player. The player must not only have the capacity for work, but must be able to produce the value of a whole team.
Players need creativity to resolve challenges and think in paradigms rather than absolutes. Creativity advances where competence is limited. Creativity creates new value, while competence enhances performance.
Transformational team players work with people. They respect the contribution of everyone to the success of the whole. They do not have to be friends with everyone on the team, but they do uphold each other's dignity from the sweeper to the leader they are all one team working to make it work.
The transformational team player will not be shaken by success or defeat. Their character is moved by purpose, cause and the good of all. When values are personalized, they become character. Character is the soldier in the armor and the man in the uniform. Character is the soul of the music. With character team members do not have to look back to check If the other players are pulling their weight. They know it, they feel it and depend on it.
10. WALK AWAY
The transformational team player has the remarkable quality to walk away from it all once the job is done. We see this quality in Mandela and Washington. Both walked away from the power, glory and popularity and turned to other pursuits. The peace of the transformational team player is that the job is done.
Allan Bukusi is the author of How To Lead Corporate Transformation