There Are Two Types of Team Shows: Which One Are You?

There Are Two Types of Team Shows: Which One Are You?

by Tracy Johnson

There are two types of team shows. One is destined to succeed. The other to fail. I work with some in both categories.

The two types of team shows are:

  1. Those who work together, the whole being greater than the individual parts.
  2. A show in which two (or more) people are on the air at the same time.

When a personality becomes part of a show, everything changes. You no longer control your own destiny. There’s a co-dependency that must be accepted, respected and embraced. And that requires a For The Show mentality.

Two Types of Team Shows: Only One Wins

Shows that adopt a For The Show mentality do what it takes to build a winning brand. These shows succeed, thrive and are hard to beat. They understand the value of teamwork. They realize that they can’t possibly succeed if their partners fail.

Individual agendas are put aside in the interest of the team’s success. That’s a hard thing for many personalities. Sometimes it requires they play a slightly different role.

Jonny, Holly & Nira (with producer Amy) came together to form a new show at Virgin Radio/Vancouver, Jonny and Holly were both solo air personalities. Each had their own audience, and were accustomed to driving their own show. Holly’s role changed, which was hard but necessary. And she became one of the sharpest, funniest partners on the air in North America.

It worked because the show accepted a Show First attitude. Nothing could stop them.

The Challenge of For The Show

Sadly, many shows have a hard time truly embracing FTS.

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Another show I work with is composed of two highly talented, charismatic personalities. They are unique personalities with a common base. They’re a terrific match and have the potential to be special. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Before being paired, both were doing a solo show. Just like Holly & Nira. Yet months after the show debuted, it still feels like they are doing separate shows at the same time. There are good moments, but it doesn’t gather momentum. The For The Show mentality isn’t there. It has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with their attitude.

Shows with individual agendas are destined for failure. They fall apart because they don’t trust one another or their egos block their success path. Some may have initial success, building on the excitement of something new to carry them. But ego creeps in and individuals put themselves ahead of the team. Soon trust is violated. Their own agendas are put in front of what’s truly good for the show. Unless that’s repaired, they’ll never reach their potential.

Co-Dependency is a Good Thing

Great shows understand they need one another. They accept the role they play to make the show work and they stay in that role. And I’d rather coach this kind of show with average talent than great personalities working their own agenda.

Former football coach Lou Holtz once said:

Talent determines what you can do. Motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Attitude determines how well you do it.


Maybe you’re one of those personalities that can make it on your own. That’s fantastic.

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But if you’re on a team show, remember that truly great shows are like the Three Musketeers. Their motto was “all for one and one for all”.

Are you on a show that is working individually and not for collective success? Fix it now. If you need help sorting it out, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.

You owe it to yourself to find the right partners, make a commitment and do whatever it takes for your team to win. You will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

Photo credit:


Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

For more than 30 years, Johnson has been developing on-air superstars that attract fans, retain audiences and generate revenue.

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