After several missed opportunities and unfortunate postponements, I was finally able to see Hamilton on Broadway. I had been wanting to see the New York City production for quite some time and can now say with confidence that it was worth waiting for.

Hamilton lived up to the hype—and then some!

I considered dedicating this week’s blog to discussing the issue of whether Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, or any of the other founding fathers featured in the musical were good teammates. However, I’ve decided against doing so.

To truly understand that issue requires a certain degree of familiarity with the musical—something I suspect not all Teammate Tuesday readers possess. For that reason, I’m going to instead focus on an inspiring “good teammate” lesson derived from the show’s origins.

In 2009, a young Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, was invited to perform before then president Barrack Obama at the White House Poetry Jam. Miranda told the audience that he was going to do a song from a hip hop album he was working on about the life of former Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, a person he thought “embodies hip hop.”

The audience laughed at the absurdity of Miranda’s assertion.

President Obama would later recall that after Miranda told him he was going to do a “rap about Alexander Hamilton,” the president quipped: “Well, good luck with that.”

Receiving that sort of discouraging response could have derailed Miranda. But much like his musical’s namesake, Miranda remained young, scrappy, and hungry—and committed. He didn’t throw away his shot. He forged ahead with determination.

Six years later, Hamilton would make its theatrical debut on Broadway. The rest is, as they say, history. (In this case, literally!) Hamilton has become one of the most successful musicals of all time.

By remaining committed to his convictions, Miranda facilitated Hamilton’s success. Moreover, his determination led to a number of noteworthy “good teammate moves,” including:

  • Sharing his knowledge in a creative and memorable way. (Miranda was moved to write the musical after reading Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton.)
  • Inspiring enthusiasm for American history. (My daughter correctly answered a question on her civics exam because she remembered a lyric from a Hamilton song about the Battle of Yorktown.)
  • Embracing tradition while also incorporating progressiveness with regard to race and gender. (Many of the roles in Hamilton are cast outside of their traditional stereotypes.)

Good teammates do all the above. They routinely share their knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, embrace tradition and progressiveness, and they remain committed to their convictions. That commitment is what sees their teams through tough times and allows them to rise up.

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.

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