Learning from the Superbowl: The Make-Up of a Successful Team

On the heels of the big game, we might ponder the relationship between a great coach, quarterback, and the players who make-up a winning team. How do these positions work together to create a successful team? Would the Patriots have secured the title if they were missing any of these key elements? Likely not.

Whether you are a Pats fan or not, we must admit that they have crafted a team of professionals who undeniably contribute and create success for their team. Good news: even if you wished the Atlanta Falcons would have “risen up” a little higher on Sunday, there are things we can learn from the Patriots as we work to create our own organizational success.

The Team (Employees)

We draft top talent (hire the best) and we get rid of those who don’t make the cut (healthy turnover).  This is true whether talking about football or companies.  Can a football team compete if there are gaps in the defense, kicking team, or special teams? Nope, and neither can your organization.  You need people with different skills to make up your special teams, your departments including: Sales, Service, Marketing, Accounting, and beyond.  Assess your team roster for gaps that need to be filled (create a strategic hiring plan). Ensure your best talent carries the ball (handles your most important work), and consider what happens if / when you have injuries (departures) or teammates head gracefully into retirement (this happens at work too!)

Each team creates its own unique culture: putting in long hours of practice (work / overtime), developing personal relationships, attending events together, caring about the well-being of their teammates, and overall creating an environment of trust, respect, and team work. It’s important to ensure your team is bonding at an optimal level. Sometimes we have to facilitate these types of events, and we must be intentional regarding team engagement efforts (ask for feedback, survey, focus groups).

Your team plays an integral role in making the magic of your organization. Ensure you have the right players, working toward the common goals.

Quarterback & Offensive Line (Key Leadership)

Imagine your key leaders as the Quarterback and Offensive Line.  These leaders work together to move the ball forward (create success in the organization). They hold huddles to communicate, provide encouragement, and focus on the task at hand. They have worked to develop respect and trust with the team and each other. When the QB calls a play, the offensive line does whatever is necessary to make that play happen. Whether it’s blocking, tackling, running, catching, creating gaps, in order to see success everyone must be doing their part and doing it well. Is your QB and Offensive Line moving the ball down the field as desired (working toward that common goal and moving in the same direction)?

The Coach (Business / Culture Coach)

The role of the coach can be quite a challenging one. The coach is essential to developing the strategic plan and communicating that plan in an effective manner. The coach divides his/her time as a leader, mentor, motivator, strategic planner, cheerleader and more throughout the game. He/she utilizes a playbook (tool kit) that is built over time and filled with ideas to drive success. The QB/Offensive Line (Leaders) and Team (Employees) rely on the years of experience and preparation that the Coach has to offer, and listens because they know if they apply their muscle to the coach’s wisdom, then great things will happen as they work together and navigate towards success. They execute on the plan, and ensure everyone is working together.

Just as teammates change over time, so can the Coach. Whether it’s because of an antiquated approach (you must compete in today’s competitive market) or a different view from the GM (the board of directors) – sometimes a new coach is needed.

If the game isn’t headed in the direction you desire, then you must find another coach to add to the bench strength of your team.  New perspective can be refreshing and needed. After all, we’ve seen the sidelines bursting with a support team (coaches, assistants, trainers, doctors, agents, referees, media, cheerleaders, mascots, and more!). While you likely don’t need a new mascot, it’s critical to your organization to have the right coach/coaches in place.

What’s next?  

Having the right teammates on your bus, and leading your team should resonate with you. Ensuring collaboration, building trust, streamlining processes, representing your vision and values – all in the name of organizational success.

MB Consulting Solutions can provide you a new coach, to help provide fresh perspective regarding your team. We are people experts, who focus on culture-shaping, and provide a quality gap analysis, recommendations for change, implementation of actionable programs, consulting services, and workshops for your business. Contact us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *