According to Wikipedia, a ball hog is defined as

“a derisive term for a basketball player that handles the ball exclusively to the point of impairing the team.”

While we are all very familiar with the term, whether we played competitive sports or not, it’s important to note three key words in this definition:

  • derisive
  • exclusively
  • impairing

I think the term ball hog can also be used in the professional world.  The ball, however, would be a client, project, proposal, staff meeting, or strategy session.  It could even be a leadership role within an organization or a delivering a presentation.  We probably all know a person we have worked with that can be considered a ball hog.  Their reputation is typically well known within the circles they travel, and the general feeling can be quite derisive.  They handle everything exclusively and the long-term effect impairs the productivity of the team.

No matter what role we play within a company or organization, we are part of a team.  The success of any team is contingent not on the actions of one person, but the collective effort of the whole.  Open dialogue, transparency, and defined roles help eliminate the issues a ball hog tends to create.  While there may be success with work of a ball hog, the effect is actually quite temporary.  Most true professionals have little tolerance for this temporary approach to doing business because they value and understand the significance of the combined strength of a true team.

Keep it disciplined.

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