John Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams. US Men’s Olympic Hockey team of 1980 who won the “Miracle on Ice” game against the much more talented Soviet Union team. Chicago Bulls of the 90s, the Michael Jordan era. New York Yankees of the 90s — early 2000s. Bear Bryant or Nick Saban’s University of Alabama Football teams.
The list of legendary sport teams could go on and on and on.
Like story book journeys, our favorite teams travel through a season of peaks and valleys, wins and losses, and there’s often a climatic time period where grit and determination are requirements to move on to the next step.
At some point in our lives we’ve either watched them perform, wished we were one of them, or we were in fact on great teams. No matter if it was sports, business, non-profits or church, if you were on a great team you knew it. You felt as if victory was inevitable.
What’s interesting is the reasons a team becomes and remains great are not always obvious in the moment. In fact, those crucial ingredients are most often revealed afterwards, in hindsight.
So how do we know if we are on a great team?
How will we know when these key ingredients exist currently?
Let’s reflect on the teams we know to be great based on our experience so far.
From my experience of years on all sorts of wining sports teams, hand picked military teams and business teams what made all the difference between great teams and all the others were summed up nicely for me recently actually.
Some similarities were present, and mostly in these similarities the people I observed were carrying these out at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my lifetime of team performance experiences.
Here is what I witnessed at our Dale Carnegie Team meeting:
John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
That’s so true! Who has the MOST influence on a team’s belief or disbelief, encouragement or discouragement?
Someone has to lead the pack of individuals not only in a direction to win otherwise we reach a point of no direction and fall apart as we assembled, individually.
That leader also has an obligation to form a connection amongst team members so that they have a sense and believe that they BELONG there, and their INTERNAL DESIRE to perform at their highest capacity derives from a deeper place to perform for each other, not just for the scoreboard.
Without a leader guiding and orchestrating unity, we are all just trying to “fall in where we fit in”.
Great leaders are also those who Can and are Willing to:
- Communicate Effectively and Efficiently
- Listen intentionally
- Optimize strengths of their people
- Create a safe environment for open and honest collaboration (Unity Builder Moments)
- Show their people they are valued by action and examples, not just words.
Something I hear often in the Dale Carnegie Programs, both as a student and as a member of Dale Carnegie solid team is
“Leadership is influence, and that influence is demonstrated by going first.”
So my challenge for you is if these leadership traits are characteristics you wish to see more of in your organization or team, then perhaps go first. Give one a try. See what influence you will bring.
For the full layout of Solid Team Ingredients check out Part 2 and 3 of this blog series on my page.
If you found this to be valuable and of use for you I would be honored if you like and share this with others you know so they could also have a positive experience.
To Your Success,
Talent Development Specialist