I once had a colleague who made $35,000 a year when she retired. She was good at her job, people told her that, and she always felt appreciated.

Remember Le’Veon Bell? In 2018 he was the best running back in the NFL; the Pittsburgh Steelers offered him $15 million a year to make him the highest-paid back in the league. Bell thought he was worth more and refused to play: “I’m not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I’m not getting what I feel I’m valued at.” Bell was good at his job, people told him that, but he didn’t feel appreciated.*

It’s a mystery to me why some people feel appreciated and others don’t, but it’s clear to me that people who feel appreciated become better teammates. I think it’s important to know about a person’s capacity to be a teammate before you hire them.**

*Bell left the Steelers in 2018 for the Jets, and in four years has been with the Chiefs, Ravens, and Buccaneers. The Bucs released him in January and he’s still a free agent.

**To be sure, not everyone’s looking to hire a stereotypically “good teammate.” You probably want your elementary school teacher to be a good teammate, but the founder of a competing charter school? Maybe not so much.