Many of my life’s adventures have revolved around my affinity for savory BBQ and delicious donuts. I wrote about a “good teammate” lesson derived from an experience I had at a favorite BBQ spot in a previous blog. Today, it’s the donut’s turn.

Donuts are my guilty pleasure. I concede to their unhealthy nature, but I cannot resist the sweet deliciousness of fried dough.

I love Dunkin’ Donuts. I love Voodoo Donuts. I love Duck Donuts. Seeing the orange “hot light” on in the window of a Krispy Kreme causes my heart to palpitate. Just thinking about the Fractured Prune (a delightful donut franchise in Ocean City, Maryland) makes my mouth water.

The latest edition to my list of favorite donuts is DG Donuts. The DG stands for “Damn Good”—and they most certainly are.

DG’s donuts are enormous. They are thick and piled high with toppings. Holding them with one hand is hard to do. But what makes DG Donuts interesting is where they are sold.

A fellow donut aficionado turned me onto DG Donuts. He prefaced his recommendation with two suggestions: 1. Don’t judge the donuts by where they are sold 2. Get there early in the morning because they tend to sell out.

DG Donuts are baked, decorated, and sold inside of a gas station along rural Highway 50 in Clermont, Florida. In fairness, the gas station is clean by gas station standards. But it is still a gas station.

It didn’t take long to figure out the answer to that question.

DG Donuts are exactly why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. What’s inside and what comes out of the inside is what matters most. This truth also applies to good teammates.

Sometimes we focus on a person’s shell and overlook the significance of what’s inside of that person and how they use those skills to help their team. A good teammate’s intangibles (e.g., attitude, enthusiasm, work ethic, integrity, tact, etc.) have a bigger impact on team success than we often realize.

A former basketball coach told me a story about an off-season experiment he conducted. He wanted to do something with his players other than the usual full court 5-on-5 games to determine who were his most valuable players. So he made his team play shorter, half court 3-on-3 games the entire off season. He changed the trios every day to keep his players from always playing on the same teams.

The coach kept track of wins and losses and then ranked his players individually by how many wins the teams they played on recorded. He expected his most talented and physically gifted players to have the most wins. However, that didn’t turn out to be the case.

The players with the most wins lacked the physical stature and traditional benchmarks of those typically considered to be the team’s best players. The players with the most wins were the ones everyone considered to be the team’s best teammates. These players won more games because they made the other players around them better. Their intangibles amplified everyone else’s talents.

Most team members focus on trivial details like their stats and their image.  Good teammates concentrate on what matters most—the substance of their product. They focus on becoming a master of their role and utilizing their role to create success.

And good teammates are damn good at creating success.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory. He is a college basketball coach turned author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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