How Being a Team Player Helps You Become a Leader

You’ve probably heard plenty of talk at work about how important it is to be a team player. And maybe you thought, yeah, important for the company because it boosts their productivity — but what’s in it for me?

In this blog, we’ll show you exactly how being a team player boosts your own career and leads directly to a better quality of life both on and off the job.

It’s all about the soft skills you develop while working as part of a team. If you google “leadership skills” and “team player skills” that employers look for most, you’ll find a lot of overlap. Employees who demonstrate those skills are the most likely to receive raises and promotions.

Here are some of those skills you need to perform well as both a team member and leader.


It’s easy to tell when someone isn’t really all that interested in the team’s success (“I’m just here for the paycheck”). It’s destructive enough in a team player, but disastrous in a leader — which is why people with that attitude don’t get promoted to a higher level in the organization.

How to improve: Show that you seriously believe in the team’s people, goals and processes. That means giving 100% (or even more) every day.


Team players are able to listen to input from others and take action based on that input to improve both their own and the team’s performance. As a leader, they will use this same experience to provide clear, understandable goals, tasks and other organizational expectations to the team.

How to improve: Monitor your on-the-job communications, both verbal and written, to see how effective they are in achieving your desired outcomes.


Both team players and leaders develop good collaborations among their team members. Working together toward a common goal starts at the rank-and-file level and continues all the way up to the C-suite.

How to improve: Listen carefully to others’ opinions and ideas before presenting yours. Learn the art of compromise, rather than just going your own way. Help motivate your fellow team members with praise, encouragement and offers of assistance.


Take accountability for your failures as well as successes — no passing the buck or throwing someone else under the bus. Companies expect their leaders to be honest and take responsibility for everything that happens under them.

How to improve: When you screw up, say sorry, immediately followed by a suggestion for fixing the problem. You can also demonstrate responsibility by being on time with attendance and assignments.

Growing these skills on the job will give you a competitive edge when your employer needs to promote someone to a leadership role. What’s more, they’ll help you land your next step-up job somewhere else, so be sure to add them to your resume!