The past few months have proven to be a bit of a tough stretch for my family. I lost my sister to cancer in July and my father passed away last week. At my father’s funeral, someone remarked that “tough times create tough people.”

That may be true, but what I’ve found to be more applicable is that tough times reveal good teammates.

Tracey Lawrence had a country song out a few years ago titled “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” The song was about the lengths to which true friends will go during our time of need. The chorus was as follows:

You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get their fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who you’re friends are

I grow emotional when I think of how much support I’ve received over the past few months. The many phone calls, texts, and emails have been comforting. I’ve had friends who were exhausted from working all day drive hours to show their support. I’ve had friends use vacation days just to “be there” for me.

My friend Scott took me to lunch on Saturday, so we could talk one-on-one and I could get a break from the stress. Scott has a demanding job. He works long hours and his weekends are needed for family time and to catch up with chores around his house. Taking time out of his schedule to eat lunch with me was not convenient for him.

But Scott and all the others never thought what’s in it for me? or it’s way too far, and they never concerned themselves with being inconvenienced.

We call them friends, but they are teammates—good teammates. And they represent the difference between how the three types of teammates manage inconvenience.

Bad teammates (who I like to refer to as teambusters) never mind inconveniencing others, yet they hate to be inconvenienced by others.

Neutral teammates try not to inconvenience others, but they also hate to be inconvenienced.

Good teammates go out of their way—sometimes enduring tremendous personal sacrifice—to not inconvenience others, yet they never mind being inconvenienced by anyone or anything that benefits their team.

As the Tracey Lawrence song suggests, good teammates are the ones who show up when you run your car off the side of the road and get stuck in a ditch way in the middle of nowhere. If you have these types of teammates on your team, be grateful. If you are this type of teammate, be proud.

You make the world a better place.

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

Lance Loya is a leading authority on the good teammate mindset. 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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