January 14, 2012
BARBARA MOSES | Columnist profile | E-mail From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 6:14PM EST
There’s no question that Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple Inc., and Christopher Hitchens, the late author and pundit, each left indelible marks. But for all their accomplishments it is unlikely either would have ever received a report card that read, “Plays well with others” or “Is a great team player.” Maybe there is something to be learned from these true contrarians. Although in most organizations, you can’t do better than be labelled a team player, and although most workers promote their group-work skills, I’m tired of people who robotically boast about what great team players they are. In fact, being a good team player may not be such a good thing. And maybe you can be too agreeable. Week after week, clients confide to me that they routinely shut up about work decisions they don’t agree with, or are doing things that run counter to what they believe is right. When asked why they don’t speak up, they say they don’t want to be branded with the dreaded label: “Not a good team player.”
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