If you’ve ever led a team, then you know how important good teamwork is. Professional basketball player Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Jordan was an extremely talented player, but he understood the value of a good team.
If only every member of a team knew that… Do you have a team member who is more concerned with his individual achievement than the team’s? I call that fellow Grandstanding Gary.

Grandstanding Gary is the final person that we’re going to discuss in this series on Leading Difficult People. In past weeks, we’ve covered Fearful Fred, Slumped Susan, Excited Eddie, Disorganized Debbie, and Critical Carl.

Grandstanding Gary is the team member who plays to the stands. He wants to score the winning goal, and to make sure that everyone saw him do it. A talented, competitive individual can do a lot for a team, but for the team to win championships – to succeed in the long haul – all members need to cooperate and share credit.

As the leader, you need to understand Gary and teach him how to be a productive contributor to a team.

Understanding Grandstanding Gary:

  1. Behavior:       Aggressive
  2. Motivated by: Desire to be #1
  3. Strength:        Self-sufficiency
  4. Weakness:     Lack of cooperation

Listening to Grandstanding Gary:

  1. Privately sit down to discuss Gary’s grandstanding.
  2. Ask him who he respects and why.
  3. Ask him to explain the value of teamwork.
  4. Point out areas where he’s not a good team player.
  5. Explain how that hurts him as well as the team.
  6. Find out if he’s willing to change.

Leading Grandstanding Gary:

  1. Lead from power and strength. If not, he won’t respect you.
  2. Ask him to take on projects.
  3. Reward him for teamwork.
  4. Decide which issues are worth the battle.
  5. Once an issue is settled, never give in.

Growth program:

Read The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player together

Ambition and competitiveness can be very good traits for a team member, but only if he or she knows how to function within the team. With proper guidance, Grandstanding Gary can be a high-energy and high-achieving employee.

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