If you do none of the above, just know that lions hunt in packs and they don’t mind sharing the spoils of their victory with their brethren. Tigers hunt alone and they are not prone to passing the plate to anyone, not even another tiger.
So lions must be great teammates and tigers must be selfish, right? Not so fast.
According to The Sporting News college basketball columnist Mike DeCourcy, Tang told “…All-American point Markquis Nowell to be a lion most times (hunts as a team) and a tiger (goes it alone) when it matters most.”
Finding individuals with traits of both of the fiercest hunters on earth can have enormous benefits for teams and groups in any setting. Both teamwork and leadership are essential to success in business, medicine, government, and on and on. The same individual can be a wonderful collaborator and teammate, while simultaneously stepping outside the group to think differently. Or that person may step past the group at a faster pace than everyone else. That’s not selfish. It’s leadership.
Leadership sometimes can be lonely. Individuals may have titles such as vice president or quarterback, or they may be bereft of the title, but still have leadership qualities such as anticipating problems others don’t see. Or they may have organizational skills others don’t. Title or not, such individuals should never hesitate to lead, even without formal authority. In fact, if they have the ability, they have a responsibility to facilitate solutions and progress especially when the team is struggling.
That inflection point can create a situation ripe for jealously or conflict because suddenly one individual that is part of a team is setting the pace and the agenda. However, one can still be an outstanding teammate as well as a leader. During such moments, individuals who may be reluctant leaders can mitigate conflict by emphasizing:
- Communication – Remind and articulate to the team the overall goal and get buy-in that we are struggling so we need to think or organize differently to get back on track. Getting that acknowledgement is a step to reinforce to the group that you are still being a team player, but you are just using your strengths to get the process moving.
- Collaboration – Leading doesn’t mean doing everything. Remind the other members of the team of their important skills and value they can provide and ask them to take responsibility by using their strengths to move the task forward. This collaboration will give them ownership of the project and allow them to add value to the outcome based on what they do best, raising the enthusiasm several degrees.
- Conviction – Leaders must have a belief that their process will achieve the goal and that conviction must be brought to life in every action and word until the task is complete. Once decisions are made, a leader must expect 100% effort and focus on the agreed-upon process from each individual and his/herself. That buy-in is a catalyst for the rigor and diligence each person will put into the effort, increasing the chances for success.
So even if you’re a member of a pride of lions, there are times you must have an outer-body experience and turn into a tiger. In the end, that melding of leadership and teamwork will provide everyone with a full stomach.