No successful team leader has ever wished for the members of their team to just be content with where they are. Successful team leaders despise complacency. They want team members who are driven to level up.

Although it may seem contrary to popular belief, pursuing individual goals while still being a good teammate is possible—provided you follow several important rules.

Here are five of them:

1.  Set Individual Goals That Advance Team Goals. If the team’s goal is to win a championship, then improving your individual skills, technique, or knowledge can help your team reach its overarching goal.

Developing and then committing to a plan to improve your individual skills (e.g. A softball player who spends an extra hour each day hitting in the batting cage) will make the team better, because: When the individual improves, the team improves.

2.  Don’t Compromise Team Goals for Individual Goals. Your individual goals cannot conflict with the team’s goals. Setting individual goals tied to specific statistics can be counterproductive.

For instance, a quarterback sets an individual goal of passing for 200 yards in a game. Going into the fourth quarter, the quarterback has accumulated 160 yards. But his team is holding onto a lead and the weather has changed to no longer be conducive to passing the ball.

It’s in the team’s best interest to hand the ball off and run out the clock. For the quarterback to continue to pursue his individual statistical goal would be selfish and potentially undermine his team’s goal of winning the game.

3.  Don’t Use Team Time for Individual Goals. Working on individual goals during team time is not a wise decision. Respect the difference between team time and personal time.

In the above example of the softball player, spending an extra hour hitting balls in the batting cage is a commendable use of that player’s time. But not so much if that player were to be hitting balls in the batting cage when she was supposed to be working on infield practice or watching film with the rest of the team.

Using team time for individual development opens you up to having your intentions misconstrued. You risk being mistaken as selfish and only “in it” for yourself.

4.  Share Your Goals with Others. Make the other members of your team aware of your individual goals. Sharing those details may inspire them to become similarly driven.

As humans, we have a natural desire to help others. By openly sharing your individual goals, you also make it possible for your teammates to become invested in you. Their encouragement can get you through challenging times and assist you in holding yourself accountable.

5.  Don’t Let Your Passion Displace Your Purpose. It’s great to be passionate about your individual goals but stay true to the purpose for having them: To help your team succeed.

When outsiders start to notice the fruits of your labor, the attention may prompt you to be more focused on individual accolades than team achievement. Refuse to give into this temptation. Remain humble, loyal, and grateful to your team and your fellow teammates.

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 former sports coach turned bestselling author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

Would you like to receive the Teammate Tuesday blog on a regular basis? Do you know someone who would? Join our mailing list for bonus insight and inspiration. You’ll never miss another edition again! Sign up here.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This