The best machines are comprised of the best components. The best cars have the best engines, transmissions, headlights, etc. The best computers have the best processors, keyboards, monitors, etc.

Teams are a lot like machines in that they too are comprised of components—teammates. Here are four types of teammates you should have on your team:



Who They Are: Givers are generous. They share their gifts with their teammates. Giving their time and energy to their team is standard practice. With givers, it’s never “my” time; it’s always “our” time. Their willingness to give freely of themselves is a clear indication of their devotion to their team.

Givers also give credit when and where credit is due. They are the first to recognize and praise other teammates’ contributions. Givers share the spotlight. They are never jealous of another team member’s achievements.

Their Benefit to the Team: Givers facilitate trust. No one questions the purity of a giver’s motives because they know givers are driven by love. They selflessly serve the needs of their teams.



Who They Are: Takers take ownership of their responsibilities. They take their role on the team seriously by holding themselves and everyone else on the team accountable. They don’t make excuses or blame others for their mistakes. Takers will never throw another teammate under the bus to save themselves.

Takers also take initiative. When they see something that needs done, they dive in with eagerness. Takers don’t have to be “voluntold.”

Their Benefit to the Team: Takers facilitate loyalty. Their example builds team cohesion and inspires commitment. Their actions lead to positive change.



Who They Are: Shakers are enthusiastic. Think up-beat Latin music. Think maracas, tambourines, and cowbells. Shakers energize their teams. They invigorate others and compel teammates to shake their tail feathers.

Shakers also shake things up. They get teams out of ruts by introducing new routines and embracing new strategies. They keep their teams from becoming stagnant.

Their Benefit to the Team: Shakers facilitate momentum. Their energy and enthusiasm are catalysts for action. Shakers prevent complacency.



Who They Are: Bakers are dependable. They’re good listeners who follow instructions with precision. The best bakeries have consistently good products because the individuals preparing those products follow the recipes with great diligence. Bakers are thorough. They pay attention to details and never skip steps.

Bakers also give more than what is required. Think ‘baker’s dozen.” When others are content to meet expectations, bakers push themselves to exceed them.

Their Benefit to the Team: Bakers facilitate the implementation of game plans. They successfully transfer instructions into action. Their ability to listen and respond minimizes miscues.


The difference between a machine’s components versus a team’s is exclusivity. An engine can only be an engine. A keyboard can only be a keyboard. The components of a team are not confined by those restrictions. A teammate can exhibit all the above behaviors at the same time.

The best teams are comprised of individuals who are simultaneously givers, takers, shakers, and bakers. Being a teammate who is worthy of all four labels should be your objective.

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, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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