The Team Player Promise


Awaiting my turn backstage I watched as an entire events team was freaking out, running back and forth, chatter on headsets, teleprompter operators with hands in the air, show producers pacing, every team player not sure what to do.

The first celebrity speaker had taken 20 minutes longer than allotted, now the second speaker, an executive, was 15 minutes over.

I was scheduled to do an hour following “Long-wind” and “Breathless” (my new nicknames for the speakers before me), sandwiched between the ever sacred Expo Hall opening at 11 AM that would make about 50 Sponsors pull their advertising dollars for future events if they didn’t get their time.

The client approached cautiously, with fear in her eyes, as to how I was going to take the news that I had to be done at 10:55 AM and would have to cut my hour to…whatever time this speaker ended.

Before she could say a word I shook my head, held open my arms, gave her a big hug, and said, “I’m so sorry you’re going through this.  I know what you’re up against.  I’m on your team.  I can do as long or as little as you need to close this session on time.  Just be sure to tell your team to cut my powerpoint and I will just wing it, and still kill it no matter what amount of time you have left.”

You would have thought I handed her a lottery ticket.

By the time I took the stage, there on the timer at my feet, in front of thousands of attendees who had no idea what we were going through, was the time they could afford my presentation:


The Promise of the Speaker, just as The Promise of anyone on any team, is to do what needs to be done, whether it damages our ego or alters our long anticipated presentation, for the greater good of the larger cause.

I did my sub-18 minute presentation, received a rousing standing ovation, and that client has since booked me for 5 more events and many to come.  Client happy, Sponsors thankful, AV Team shocked and elated, Audience figured it all went as planned.  All is well.

Legendary Leadership has no position, it is fulfilled in The Promise kept by every person on The Team who delivers their unique and effective Signature Moves.

In the past few weeks we’ve seen players coming straight from rehabbing their torn calf muscle in order to “take one for the team” in MVP Kevin Durant stepping in to lift his Golden State Warriors and play a full quarter to help them stay in the NBA Finals, only to then go down with a torn Achilles tendon that will forever alter his entire career.

A game later, fellow All-Star Klay Thompson, crashed to the floor with a torn ACL, was carried off the court, only to return by his own power moments later from the tunnel to shoot 2 free throws, and then go straight to the hospital.

And yet the Warriors still lost the championship, and a dynasty is over.

Was their sacrifice in vain or did it prove they are the ultimate teammates in their sacrifice?

I know for me I’d want them on my team.

What is your Promise to The Team?

Many call it The Team, but I like to call it: The Family at Work.

The above scenario of my having to cut my presentation seems to happen more and more because others who take the stage seem to care more of self than of sticking to the agenda.  They ruin it for everyone else even if they’re doing a great job.  They were assigned to do a job and instead took the liberty to do whatever they wanted, thus leaving the entire conference in panic mode, in search of a person who keeps a Promise to do the right thing.

Are you the person who keeps The Promise?

If you work on a team, a family at work, or are the “hired gun” for a one time job, keep your eyes open, be aware of the impending challenges, and then do something most are too incapable of doing:

Set Ego Aside

Be a TEAM Player

Keep Your Promise!



Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer

The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and discover your Signature Moves

Ready to become a Professional Speaker?  Let Jason show you how click here


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8 thoughts on “The Team Player Promise”

  1. Great example, Jason! I see three things about you that enabled happen, that we all need to work on in order to keep this promise:
    1) You were empathetic
    2) You were humble
    3) You were prepared (so you could be flexible)

  2. I love this story on how you cut down your speech and still got a standing ovation. Now I am super curious as to whom this “celebrity” speaker was. Power to the Promise!

    1. Haha! I’ll never tell…but you know of them and they’re big time. It’s amazing how often this happens with speakers – and we as those who follow them have to be ready!

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