Humble Pie: An Essential Morsel for Team Success

When you are great at something, you often want the world to know. As human beings, we have an innate, natural craving for recognition and respect, and often we feel it necessary to ensure everyone we come into contact knows specifically what we can do, how well we do it and that we’d gladly do more for more money. From being interviewed for a job or new project to giving a description of your role and contributions to any inquiring party, projecting a team mentality and forgoing over-indulgent self promotion is best.

Prior to acquiring polish and business acumen in our careers, we often express our love of self in the wrong fashion. We should absolutely be big advocates for ourselves! It is vital that we know our strengths and areas of opportunity, our goals and what we are doing to attain them, and ways we can showcase and sharpen our skills.  However, no one likes a braggart; some tweaks to your delivery can make your message so much more impactful.

1. Drop the “I’s”: Think about your dialogue when asked about your job environment or when you send out communications – specifically those where you will be making mention of process you are involved in or projects you have contributed on.  Re-read written verbiage and minimize usage of the word “I,” and do the same when speaking, always looking for ways to illustrate instead how you have worked with a team to achieve results. Hiring managers, promoting managers, visiting managers, general audiences whose attention you desire – they are looking for someone who embraces and is inviting. They want to be enticed with warm and fuzzy feelings of camaraderie.  They want to see that you play nicely in the sandbox with everyone you share space with. They don’t want to hear how great thou art.  Show through your willingness to help others, don’t tell. Your message will get across, trust me.

2. Not everything is a competition. Do you find yourself feeling the necessity of one-upping others? Do you have to win at literally all costs? If the cost is alienating someone whose support you need, making someone on your team look bad or others having a genuine feeling of inferiority around you, you’re doing more harm than good. Remember: find ways to connect with others, add value to your relationships with them and always offer to support or provide service wherever you go. Gaps may exist between you and others, but you can bridge as many as possible with genuine addition of value. Focus on process and teamwork, and other pieces will fall into place. Rather than be intimidated by your skills and reluctant to endorse or encourage you, peers and others in your circle of influence will be more open and honest to you and will legitimately look for ways to engage you and sing your praises.

3. Look for ways to involve others. Sure, you may be the one carrying more weight than others on this project. However, what about the next project when you could learn a substantial amount from others on your team and may need more of their support? When you are talking about your current projects, even if you are the star, find ways to point out the contributions of others, draw them into the discussions and ensure everyone gets input and credit. While you absolutely want to make sure your heavy lifting is woven into that description, do not draw so much attention to yourself that you make others uncomfortable or sound slightly insignificant.

Other people, whomever they are, look for a variety of attributes in you: work ethic, teamwork, success under stress, ability to meet deadlines, multiple metrics and dependability. While your sparkling results in one or more of these areas certainly can speak volumes, what speaks more is your literal mastery of all and your willingness to learn and contribute even more.

It’s one thing to do great things or have great results. It’s entirely another to add enough value to the environments of so many others that you make a significant impact. Focus on how you can best contribute to the team, aid in the success of others and be the consummate team player, and you’ll get your just desserts.


Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to

About cvheady007

I am a Christian, Husband, Dad, workaholic and author. Biography Carson Vincent Heady was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and moved to St. Louis in 2001. He has served in sales and leadership across Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Carson is best-selling author of the Birth of a Salesman series, the first book of which was published by World Audience Inc. in 2010. He released The Salesman Against the World in 2014, A Salesman Forever in 2016 and Salesman on Fire in 2020. He is also featured in Scott Ingram’s B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Carson is a 7-time CEO/President’s Club winner across 5 roles at AT&T and Microsoft and National Verizon Rockstar winner. He has been recognized as a top social seller at Microsoft and is consistently ranked in the top 25 sales gurus in the world on Rise Global. He is included among the Top 50 sales authors on LinkedIn. With over 330K social followers, Carson has also been interviewed on over 30 sales and leadership podcasts, by such luminaries as Jeffrey & Jennifer Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Brandon Bornancin, Sam Dunning, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Scott Ingram, Thierry van Herwijnen, Jim Brown, Sam Jacobs, Luigi Prestinenzi, Donald Kelly, Marylou Tyler, George Leith, Pat Helmer, Eric Nelson, Ron Tunick, Jeff Arthur, Mary Ann Samedi, Jean Oursler, Andre Harrell, Marlene Chism, Bill Crespo, Matt Tanguay, Josh Wheeler and Chad Bostick. He has also co-hosted the Smart Biz Show on EG Marketing Radio. His articles have appeared in several noteworthy publications such as SalesGravy, Smash! Sales, Salesopedia and the Baylor Sports Department S3 Report. Carson lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Amy and daughters Madison, Sidonia and Charlotte.
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