How do you build a great successful team? How do you become a great leader?
If you were a Major League Baseball team with an unlimited payroll, could you win the World Series year in and year out? I won’t tell you who I’m thinking of, but the first initials are NY.
In Track and Field, does having the 4 fastest guys in the world guarantee a Gold medal or World Record in the Relay?
Of course not, there are so many variables! So many factors come to mind, such as Team Chemistry, Good Luck, and of course, Bad Luck.
Here are my philosophies to Teamwork & Leadership that I’ve applied in business as well as sports teams:
1) Find the right players/people. Talent helps, of course, because you can’t make a donkey win the Kentucky Derby.
2) Give each player/person a valued role. Everybody is important. In acting, the supporting actor is just as important as the lead actor. In Baseball, the pitcher may get all the glory, but someone has to play right field to make a team of 9. Heck, even I played right field!
3) Create a unique identity to the team. Give your team a nickname, or better yet, let them decide one. It will help in their bonding and give them something to be proud of. Mind you, your front line of football linebackers may call themselves the “Crazy Dogs”, but it worked. Sometimes that mental edge is all the confidence they’ll need.
4) Commit to winning/excellence. The people on your team must have the drive to succeed. In sports, winning is just the end result of a numerical score. You can win a game statistically, but really lose the game in reality and execution. Thus I prefer to use the term excellence. If you’re a janitor, then you set out to be the best janitor out there.
5) Give them a vision. Easy one… Super Bowl? Stanley Cup? Going IPO for a start-up? Releasing version 1.0 for your software development team? At work, if you have someone on your team who is there just for the money, punching in at 9 am and punching out a 5 pm, that person isn’t going to help your team succeed.
6) Play/work with passion. Every person on your team must like love what they are doing. And I mean love. Passion.
7) Get out of the way. Hey Teacher, leave the kids alone! Stay off the field and let them execute! Of course, you wouldn’t want to get your nice Armani suit sweaty, would you?
The end result is usually a team whose sum is greater than the individual parts, thus doing more with less.