Jimmy Butler is an amazing basketball player and he seems to be fitting in very well with his new team – the Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier this season, he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves but publicly stated he did not want to play for the Timberwolves any longer, that he did not trust or respect the management. Amazingly, despite his demands to leave the team, he insisted he was not a distraction. No one, of course, believed he was not a distraction. If you declare you don’t want to play on a team, it is impossible to not to be distraction.
Here are four signs a team-member is a distraction.
1. The person is negative.
It is impossible for a negative team-member to not be a distraction. They suck energy from the room and from the team. Instead of contributing to the culture, a negative team-member corrodes the culture.
2. The person has to be over-managed.
Jim Collins wrote that “if someone has to be over-managed, you have the wrong person in the role.” When a person requires over-management, time that could be deployed towards mission and opportunities is constantly syphoned away towards less important things.
3. The person doesn’t believe in the mission and values.
A team-member who does not believe in the vision of the team is going to slow down the team from realizing the vision. A team-member who is not moving in the same direction as the team is going to create distraction from the direction or worse cause the team to shift direction.
4. The person sends signals they are not “all-in.”
Jimmy Butler created work for his team, when he was with Minnesota. The other players had to answer questions about him. Instead of solely thinking about games, they were forced to think about him. When someone sends signals that they are not “all-in,” the team will suffer.
Eventually Jimmy Butler, and all-star player, was traded for non-all-stars, and the team is playing better without him. A committed non-all-star is infinitely better for a team than a non-committed all-star. He is doing great with the 76ers, which shows that a distracting team-member on one team is not necessarily a distraction on a different team. Life is always better, for all of us, when we are on a team where we contribute and don’t corrode, where we add to the team and don’t take away from the team.