There are many attributes of a great teammate but I think respect for authority may be one of the most important. I have been on some great teams and they all had something in common. They all had a strong leadership culture that understood that a high respect for authority was a non-negotiable for a teammate. This wasn’t autocratic in the way some may imagine. It was simply an understanding that everyone understood their role and the team authority structure. This alone eliminated most of the potential dysfunction that I experienced on the less-than-great teams I have been a part of.
Every team member has some authority within their given area of responsibility. This means they are responsible for coming up with solutions to the challenges specific to their area. Those solutions should be communicated to other teammates to see if there are any potential conflicts because the movement of one will inevitably affect the others. They have authority over their area and should be given the chance to give some input on the potential solution.
Team leaders are faced with the need to be both sentimental and clinical in their thinking. I can’t think of a situation when only one way of thinking will work all the time, so a measure of flexibility of mind is necessary to lead a team effectively. Sentiment allows us to be emotionally invested in people. It allows emotions of empathy and loyalty. Clinical thinking allows a leader to make the objective decision that is for the good of the team as a whole. Knowing when to put on each thinking cap separates the average from the great leader.