I once played in a basketball game with a guy who was known for his ball handling skills.
The guy wasn’t famous, but he had fans, an audience of people who’d come to his games just to see him do his dribbling thing.
The player himself knew about these fans — and he knew what they wanted to see. I could tell that his mind was set on giving it to them.
All fine and good, except for the inconvenient fact that basketball games aren’t won with dribbling exhibitions — they’re won with baskets.
This dribbling guy would look off open teammates (to “look off” means to look at an open teammate, but not pass them the ball) just to do more of his dribbling.
He was a great dribbler. The crowd loved it.
As a teammate, I hated it.
The fact that this player was reasonably good made things worse.
This guy was capable on defense, was a good passer (when there was a highlight pass to be made, at least), and could score every now and then.
The problem with this dribbling guy was, his prime objective in games was to put on his dribbling show.
If that happened to help us win, great.
If his dribbling hindered our chances of winning… well, that was fine by him, too. He never said this, of course, but he didn’t have to. I could read it in his energy.
His intention was attention. Winning was secondary.
So, even though he was a generally good player, his attitude made him a cancer.
Results matter. Intentions matter, too.
When a team member’s main objective is something other than the group’s main objective, that person must be removed as quickly as possible.When a team member’s main objective is something other than the group’s main objective, that person must be removed as quickly as possible. Click To Tweet
This is an easy task when the rogue team member isn’t very skilled.
It’s much harder when the rogue is so good that some of what they do is actually helping the team.
In such cases, many people are blinded by the results and either don’t see or don’t care about the intentions of the members.
But a person’s intentions are tied to the person’s attitude.
If one’s intentions show that they care more about themselves than the group, while it may work out fine today, it may not work so well tomorrow.
But it shouldn’t even get that far. You need to notice it and handle it before that unwanted attitude — whatever it is — spreads to everyone else in the group.
Results are important. And intentions matter.
Have you ever had a team member whose attitude wasn’t aligned with the group — but you felt like you were the only one who noticed? Reply and let me know — I read all responses.
Ps — Want to learn more about dealing with people’s attitudes and how to keep everyone in a group working in sync?
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