Leadership

3 Things Shared by Top Performing Teams, Whether on the Field or in the Office

3 Things Shared by Top Performing Teams, Whether on the Field or in the Office
Image credit: Ron Cogswell | Flickr
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Something that always intrigues me is watching top teams perform at a high level. Being an athlete for most of my life, I have been on teams that reached the top and teams that didn’t get anywhere. Since moving away from the playing field, I have witnessed the same thing while speaking to organizations of all sizes. The correlation between top performing athletic organizations and the corporate world is strong.

Those who perform at an extremely high level understand the importance of teamwork and culture.

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Here are three things top performing teams do differently.

1. Vision

I have seen time and time again a pretty substantial separation between management and employees as to what the exact vision is. That seperation can be extremely toxic. 

When a football team begins a new season, the common goal is always to win a championship. From that point on, the same goal will be revisited with every team meeting during the regular season. Everyone from the coaches, players and support staff know exactly what the vision and direction for the team is headed forward. This is reinforcing the major goal and the vision that keeps everyone on the same page.

To truly thrive as a company, everyone within the organization has to buy in to what the vision is, and not only that, but come together to make that a reality in everything that the company does. 

2. Authentic leadership

The best leaders in this world are authentic leaders. The best coaches I ever had were the ones who were authentic -- those who truly cared and appreciated their players showing up to work every day and giving maximum effort. The same goes for the business world. The success of a company starts and ends with the leadership of that company. Just as John Maxwell says, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."

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If employees feel that their boss truly values them and their work, they will be motivated to give their all every day. I recently spoke to the staff of a Fortune 500 company and was blown away by not only their organizational structure, but their effectiveness to produce. During lunch when I had the opportunity to chat with a few employees, the answer was always the same: “Our leadership is superb. They really care about us as people."

What a profound statement. 

3. Communication

The teams that fail in the communication department are quickly headed for dysfunction. Being able to express a concern, pick a teammate up or simply have a voice in the company makes a tremendous difference in its growth.

Create a culture where everyone feels they have a voice and soon you will have a company that can endure almost anything by simply talking things through. On the gridiron, when a big play was given up or something went wrong, it was usually a miscommunication error. Not communicating properly is a catalyst for mediocrity whether on the football field or in the workplace.

Creating a world class team takes a lot of work, but if you are willing to do the little things day in and day out, eventually together you will be able to conquer the bigger challenges that lie ahead.

It's an incredible sight to see a team thrive on all levels and come together for a common goal. Let these three principles be a guiding light for you and your company to take your success and performance to the next level. 

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