7 Things All Great Teams Do

By November 18, 2016 No Comments

Can you think of anyone who’s truly made it big all on their own? Go ahead, I’ll give you a few minutes..Well, were you able to think of anyone? You might have thought of a few names, but I guarantee you they didn’t make it alone. One thing I’ve learned over the years is it takes a team. Whether it’s sports, business, or at home, it takes a team.

So, what do all great teams have or need? Let’s discuss.

Honesty. Without honesty it’s nearly impossible for a team to have success and reach it’s true potential. Having open lines of communication is essential in establishing an honest culture. Communication channels must be open and present between all team members. Honesty also involves a personal responsibility to always do the right thing. Recently I heard a great phrase from elite skill development coach Jayson Wells, “Honesty Over Harmony.” Talk about powerful. Our team has adopted this motto for the season in an effort increase accountability. Honesty is one of foundational building blocks for great teams.


Trust. It takes years to build, and seconds to lose. Trust is another one of the foundational building blocks. Great teams have complete trust in one another. This trust is built through constant communication, and when individuals do what they say they are going to do. Once trust is established amongst team members, loyalty begins to take shape. Team members begin to put the team first, and buy-into the motto “We >Me.” In building trust it’s essential a high value is placed on relationships. Strong relationships where trust is present are built one day at a time. Always treat teammates with respect and show genuine care for them; when you do, trust develops.

Grit. Great teams have a refusal to give up. When things get tough, great teams dig in and show their grit. In essence, grit is a refusal to give up no matter what the circumstances are. It’s a determination to rise up and do what’s necessary to pull through. There’s a resiliency and tenacity to reach your goals and always be your best on teams with grit.  With grit, your team will always have a chance. Team members are united with a firmness of mind, and have the courage necessary to face any adversity. Grit is not about what we say; it’s about what we do in our toughest moments.

Basketball Team in Huddle

Love. No team will reach it’s potential without love. It has to be unconditional. It can’t just be about a paycheck. Team members must have love in their hearts for their teammates, the organization, it’s mission, and their role in the team’s success. Sometimes this may involve tough love. It’s important actions are criticized but individuals are not. Great teams have loyal team members who take the time to get to know one another. They are all personally invested in each other’s well-being. Service is the cornerstone of great teams. Team members act with a servant’s heart because they know it’s the best way to make a positive impact. If you help others succeed and bring out their best, the team will be able to reach new heights.

Leadership. A team without leadership is a losing team. You win with people and the relationships which are built. If you’re the leader of your team, you must make serving others your priority. The great leaders know it’s not about them, it’s about others. How do you make others feel? How do you recognize their contributions to the team? Even if you are not in a “position” of leadership you can lead from the bottom up. Teams are in need of leaders who are positive. When times are tough, leaders step up and bring out the best in everyone. 

Desire. The best teams desire to be great. They are not solely driven by a dollar amount or win-loss record. Great teams and teammates are driven to make an impact. They have a desire to empower and build others up. The best just flat out want it. They don’t take no for answer. They’re willing to show up early and stay late. The greats crave hard work; they don’t fear it. Great teams have cast a vision and have the will it takes to see it through. Their desire for team success overruns individual accolades. Team members are willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. Great teams have more desire than the competition.


Work Ethic. There is no substitute for hard work and great teams know that. They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. In fact, they prefer it. Their success was built on the grunt work, and they’re mighty proud of it. Anything worth having or attaining carries a price, and sometimes that price is too steep. However, great teams are made of individuals who carry out their work with passion. It’s all about effort. The greats never, ever, ever, quit. It’s not in their vocabulary. It’s a missing strain in their DNA. Amazing things happen for you and your team if you work hard and treat other people well.

What traits did I leave out? What do you think all great teams do? We’d love to carry on this conversation. Please share with the teams who already do these things, and please share with the ones who could use some help.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.