Alignment Clarity Communication Purpose Team effectiveness

Team play

Nobody is bigger than a company, a brand, or a team.


You’re the star of the company or team.

Thanks to your contribution, the company makes significant profits, is recognized as a leading brand, is admired by everyone in the industry, and is a heavily sought-after employer.

You know the results of the company (or team) would dive if you decided to leave or something would happen to you.

Everyone knows this.

Including your bosses and shareholders. 

It puts you in a position of power.

A position you can easily leverage but also abuse.

How would you deal with this situation? What would you like people to say about you? Do you even care? 

Now imagine some of the other talents in the company, less successful, less profitable, and probably also less talented, are trying to put themselves next to you in the hierarchy. 

At some point, they’re using the whole repertoire of tricks to draw attention and support toward them.

Their attempts, if successful, might hurt your position and reputation. 

You don’t like their tactics, and you let it be known.

“Don’t try that again.”

A few months go by, which strengthens your position even more. The other talents keep trying but are not gaining ground. 

You now have even more power. Your bosses would suffer without you. 

Then, one day a request comes from management to do one of your colleagues a public favor.

A favor that would help your talented colleague and the company. 

A favor that would be recognized not only by everyone inside the company but also around the company. 

What would you do?


Because of the games they’ve played to get even. 


Because it would create a win for your colleague, the team, and, therefore, also for you.

Do you have your answer?

Or can I offer a little help with some additional questions?


How big is your ego?

How much do you want to be in the limelight?

Would others benefit from sharing some of your insights and helping them with your valuable lessons?

How long will you be holding on to your grudges?

Are you worried you will lose some of your relevance or dominant performance if you let others in?

How much of a team player are you (really)?

The above was a public debate within the Formula One race industry last week before the season’s last race.

Specifically, the Red Bull racing team.

The subject was Max Verstappen, who refused to do his teammate Checo Perez a favor after he tricked him earlier in the season.

“ I told you not to ask me this [doing him a favor]. I have explained my point earlier, and I stand by it.”

The bosses still went out in public and asked. They lost face. Because they know Max, and they should have known better.

In review, the experts say it was all about getting even. 

Outsiders who don’t know the whole story see a self-centered, ruthless, and super-focused superstar. 

Here’s my view.

I’m not arguing that Max was wrong. He made his point clear.

I’m arguing that when you’re representing a company, a brand, and a team, and when the bosses want something to get done, it should get done.

No matter who you are.

Nobody is bigger than a company, a brand, or a team. 

If you can’t accept that, you have a choice to go elsewhere.

Yes, it will hurt short term. 

But long term, it’s about the continuity of the entire company and team. Not about one individual. 

The big superstars find that hard to understand.

That’s why you, as management, must set clear principles and boundaries.

Don’t be a pushover. 

Your turn: How clear and known are your principles and boundaries? 

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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