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The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

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The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants

Thomas Nelson,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

How to get ahead through cooperation, generosity and altruism – now that’s a tactic no one would suspect.

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Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


This brief, inspirational book uses a now-classic formula for texts on selling and leadership, although its focus on cooperation and following the leader is unusual. Each chapter starts with a short anecdote about a historic figure’s accomplishments, and his or her triumph over adversity. The vignettes demonstrate the lessons that author John C. Maxwell then briefly discusses in the rest of the chapter. The “laws” the author promulgates benefit from the stories’ afterglow and are less important than the stories themselves. Memorable quotations and sidebars that support the author’s main points round off each lesson. Maxwell is an expert at wielding this formula, perhaps because he helped make it a classic, and a star in the inspirational self-help genre. getAbstract recommends his book as a pick-me-up for team members and aspiring leaders.


The Best Players

Although a team can lose if it has great players, it can’t win without them. Yet individual talent alone does not guarantee success. Once you’ve attracted the right people to your team, you must help them mature into team players. How do you accomplish this? In fact, you have two choices: You can either develop these people yourself or you can recruit new people who are already top-notch team members.

True team players have 17 key traits, as exemplified by well-known personalities from history or contemporary society. They are:

1. “Adaptable”

Quincy Jones is one of the biggest names in the music industry. He has performed, composed, arranged, produced, collaborated, directed and founded businesses. He excelled in each area because he was able to adapt to working with many different kinds of groups. His emotional confidence and creativity enabled him to transfer prior knowledge seamlessly to new endeavors. “I take everybody one-on-one and I’m happy,” Jones explains. He exemplifies the adaptable team member, someone creative who can learn, has a sense of security and knows how to be flexible.

Napoleon Bonaparte once explained to an...

About the Author

John C. Maxwell is a leadership expert, speaker and the author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Developing the Leader Within You.

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