Social media can be the bane of my existence. I enjoy sharing insights and observations about the art of being a good teammate, but sometimes coming up with daily content can be challenging.

Recently, I shared a video of an adorable little boy interacting with LSU’s “Mike the Tiger” on my Facebook page that went, unexpectedly, viral. This video now has over 3.7 million views…and growing.

The tiger is housed in an enclosure near LSU’s athletic facilities. I was on the university’s campus in early February when I happened upon the interaction.

Maybe a child that age hasn’t learned to fear tigers, yet. But as a parent, I know that children his age can be easily frightened by sudden movements. This boy wasn’t. He was fearless.

To be clear, the boy was never in any real danger. The tiger’s enclosure is well-designed with safety in mind. Nevertheless, it’s still hard for a parent to constrain their protective instincts.

I thought the interaction to be a unique Calvin and Hobbs-like exchange between a cute, innocent child and a curious tiger. I only took the video to show my wife what I had witnessed.

Several weeks later, I was scrolling through my phone, searching for something to post on social media. I typically only share content related to the topic of being a good teammate. The tiger video didn’t exactly fall within these parameters.

But the tiger video brought me joy. Good teammates share, so I shared the video on social media thinking it may also bring joy to others. I certainly didn’t envision the video going viral and getting the sort of attention that it has.

In my book The WE Gear: How Good Teammate Shift from Me to We, I identify “Viral” as one of the five key behaviors of good teammates (Active, Loyal, Invested, Viral, and Empathetic).

I have learned two important lessons from the tiger video experience—neither of which are directly related to virality:

1. Not every team will value you the same way.

I shared the tiger video on all my various social media accounts. It has over 3.7 million views on Facebook but only few thousand on X (formally Twitter) and barely a hundred on Instagram.

Why the video didn’t get the same response on those other platforms as it did on Facebook is somewhat of a mystery. When it to comes to being a good teammate, you can encounter a similar situation.

The skillset required to be a good teammate should be valued the same on every team, but that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes poor leadership and/or a toxic culture can cause you to be undervalued. Don’t allow this situation to taint your desire to be a good teammate. Don’t allow it to jade you.

Continuing to project a positive attitude and espouse good teammate principles could eventually change your situation for the better.

But it could also be time for you to seek another team, one where being a good teammate is appreciated. Just like social media, being on the right platform (team) can make a difference in how you are viewed and valued.

2. You can disagree without being disagreeable.

In addition to the 3.7 million views, the tiger video also received tens of thousands of comments and reactions.

Even Joe Exotic himself, from Netflix’s Tiger King, chimed in.

While most of the comments were positive, some were anything but. My initial instinct was to “clap back” at the ones that weren’t. I decided, however, to heed my own advice, be a Keep Scrolling Teammate, and to not Feed the Gators.

I concede there may be other perspectives to be considered in regard to the tiger video. But the divisiveness seen in the comments illustrates the significance of the ability to disagree without being disagreeable.

Recognizing others’ perspectives is an important part of being a good teammate. You may not agree with the other perspectives, but you can convey your disagreement without being disagreeable, malicious, or rude. Being a good teammate means adhering to this premise.

With his display of “fearlessness,” the boy in the video has brought more joy into the world than most people will their entire lives. Let his example inspire you to do the same.

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 and the creator National Be a Good Teammate Day. 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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