B efore the NBA ever heard of Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, center players Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell changed professional basketball. Chamberlain was a great scorer, and Russell was known more for his defense, but they played above the rim like no centers before them. Russell, however, is best known for something else – winning. His No. 6 jersey was retired by the Boston Celtics in 1972 for his contributions as the anchor to teams that won nine consecutive NBA titles. He added two more titles as a player-coach. When I met him at an NBA All-Star game, I wasn’t surprised to hear what he had to said about great team players, “The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I made my teammates play.”
Enlargers Make Themselves More Valuable You cannot give what you do not have, so self-improvement precedes team improvement. The greatest way that I can add value to my team is to make myself more valuable. If I can become a better player, if I can continually increase my skills, if I can continually become enlarged within myself, then I can enlarge others. Too many people are still trying to give what they learned 15 years ago, and they’re in trouble. Enlargers Initiate Enlargers believe in others before they believe in themselves, serve others before they serve themselves, and add value to others before they add value to themselves. The common thread is before. They have the ability to see potential in another person before they see potential within themself.They have the ability to start action and belief.They are initiators. Initiate. Enlarge. Be a great team player. Dr. John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author. His organizations, EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, have trained more than five million leaders worldwide. He speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and diverse organizations like the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. John is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestselling author. Among John’s three million seller books include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership , Developing the Leader within You , and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader .
A great team player “enlarges” others. Bill Russell is a man who enlarged others. He made them better. Five Characteristics of Enlargers Enlargers ValueTheir Teammates Place a “10” on the heads of your teammates. If we think of others as 10s, we’ll do everything possible to add value to them. Seeing others in the very best light makes the entire team better because usually our level of performance equals the level of value placed on us. Enlargers Know and Relate toWhatTheir Teammates Value Do you value people who won’t benefit you or only those who might contribute to your success? Great team players value others as people, and they know and relate to what others value. When I want to know and relate to others, I look for their dreams, values, skills, attitudes, and life questions. If you can find the pathway to each person’s questions, you can find the pathway to their heart. Enlargers Add Value toTheir Teammates Enlargers find ways to make others better because they approach life as a win-win situation, realizing that making others better is better for everyone. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats.