Team Peterson

Shanna was indignant. After a long, dirty winter, the carpet was clean. But the guy who cleaned it had been really insulting, casting aspersions on her housekeeping with comments like:

“Ugh, this carpet is really dirty.”
“Whoa, it’s even worse when you turn the light on.”
“You know, if you had people take their shoes off, your carpet wouldn’t get so bad.”

Of course, this is strange coming from a person whose livelihood is based on people having dirty carpets, but more interesting was Shanna’s remark right before announcing that she would not be using this company again.

“I paid him $150. You would think for 45 minutes he could be on Team Peterson.”

When people hire us to do a job, the task or service or expertise is only part of what they are buying. They also want (and deserve) our support, empathy, enthusiasm and loyalty. They are not buying servants, they are paying for teammates.

Some of the characteristics of effective teammates:

  • They win or lose together
  • They share
  • They sacrifice
  • They sometimes disagree
  • They challenge each other to better performance
  • They support but don’t flatter
  • They take responsibility

We can be teammates on a three-month project, but we can also be teammates in a 30-minute task and even a 30-second transaction.

And don’t forget—some people are buying servants. But you don’t want to work for those people, and consistently acting like a teammate is the best way to be hired onto a team.