High performing teams use their head and their heart.

“The strength of a team is each individual member, the strength of each member is the team”. Phil Jackson (US basketball coach)

I love team sports, and believe you can learn a lot watching how the whole team works. In football not every pass is perfect but great players adapts to receive the ball, add a little magic themselves and keep the ball flowing. Hopefully into the opposing net.

Sports teams, like business teams are made up of talented individuals. I believe teams not only have adapt their skills to different situations, but crucially develop team behaviours. It is these behaviours that differentiate great teams.

They use their head.

    • They share a vision and purpose.
    • Everyone knows their role and how they fit into the team.
    • They plan, based on what, when and how they’re going to achieve.
    • Progress is reviewed regularly and when needed the plan gets adapted.
    • Communication is clear and seamless.

They use their heart.

    • Exploring ideas and asking lots of questions.
    • Knowing diversity breeds creativity, they value different points of view.
    • They trust each other, respecting and valuing the skills of others.
    • They see an ecosystem not a hierarchy.

And they get things done through

    1. A culture of accountability
    2. They take decisions. Knowing when to move from exploring solutions to taking action.
    3. They’re not afraid to make a mistake, believing this has you learn.
    4. And they celebrate success, building on each other’s great actions for even greater success.

So, to lead a great team, forget about directing and managing a group of individuals. Instead consider engaging and empowering a team. The combination of skills and knowledge is greater than the sum of the parts. And if your football team is losing, is it their head or their heart that wasn’t in it?