Continuing our basketball discussion from last week, Jack and I talked more about the difference between Group A players – those who worked together – versus Group B players – those who thought more about themselves than others on the team.

An obvious trait of Group A players is selflessness. They realize that achieving success is not about them. Merriam-Webster defines selflessness as having or showing great concern for other people and little or no concern for yourself.

In our conversation, Jack and I identified companies where the CEO was a superstar. Chrysler, General Electric, Kodak and Motorola to name a few. I bet you can name their iconic CEOs. I also bet you can describe what has happened to their organizations.

Conversely, we also identified a few companies who have earned recognition as very well-run organizations – the best of the best. Southwest Airlines remained on the list of well-run organizations across several decades due to their customer-oriented culture. McDonald’s due to their relentless focus on process and consistency. Whirlpool Corporation due to their award-winning leadership development focus. I bet you can’t name any of their CEOs without Googling for the answer.

In my consulting career, I’ve worked with many executives across dozens of organizations in multiple industries. There is a clear correlation between their level of selflessness and the degree of success they achieved driving transformational change.

What does it mean to be selfless? How do you develop it? Here are a few things I look for:

  1. Listen more, talk less. Are you listening to listen, or listening to respond?
  2. Be patient. Yes, deadlines are to be met, but understanding and operating at the fine line where your team can grow and develop vs. deliver requires patience and skill.
  3. Celebrate other’s success. Don’t qualify it. Just celebrate it. Could you have done it differently or better? Perhaps, but that’s not the point.
  4. Appreciate differences. Recognize that others have a point of view and you can probably benefit from it.

How do you stack up? What can you do to further develop your selflessness to drive greater transformational success?

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,



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