Be A Great Teammate: A Letter from Brad Stevens to His Daughter

Brad Stevens with Daughter

This letter originally appeared on, an Egon Zehnder initiative.

Dear Kinsley:

When I was asked to write you a letter for the Leaders and Daughters Event series, I thought of the many different things that I would love say to express what you mean to me, and how excited I am to have a front row seat in your journey through life. After tearing through my first few drafts (which were long rambles), I realized that writing a “life advice” letter to a 9-year old is quite a task. Therefore, I tried to boil my advice down to one of the most important choices anyone can make:

Be a Great Teammate.

You’ll be on many teams throughout your life. Your family is a team. Your theatre group is a team. Your choir is a team. You’ll compete with your soccer teammates, and try to play a harmonious tune with your orchestra. The thoughts below apply to all of these scenarios.

Great teammates always put others first – they are true servants. These qualities come easy for you. You have a genuine compassion for people, and that compassion is contagious. Life won’t be perfect, so there will be times where this will be tested. Take the advice that my mom used to tell me – “you will never regret choosing to be kind.” Great teammates take that high road.

Great teammates raise the energy in the room. They smile a lot. They show gratitude. People know that when they walk in, they have others’ best interest in mind, and want to bring out the best in each and every person. Who doesn’t want to surround themselves with energy raisers?

Great teammates listen and are empathetic. They put themselves in others’ shoes. They are inclusive and bring the group together, rather than judgmental to try to tear the group apart. Their own goals and dreams are important, but those take a backseat to the greater good. Great teammates realize that it’s not about them.

When times are good, be the great teammate that others want to celebrate with. When times are tough, be the great teammate who offers a shoulder to be leaned on. When you get older, you’ll realize that it wasn’t about the good or bad times, it was about who you navigated those times with, the lessons that you learned and the relationships that you forged. We are so thankful to be on your team. You and your brother inspire us every day.

Love, Dad

About Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens is an American basketball coach and currently the President of Basketball Operations of the Boston Celtics. Mr. Stevens played for Zionsville (Ind.) Little League growing up with his father, Mark, as his team’s manager.

This letter is a part of Egon Zehnder’s Leaders & Daughters campaign to collectively inspire, cultivate and pave a better future for the next generation of female leaders. To see more letters or contribute your own, please visit and follow the hashtag #LeadersAndDaughters.