What makes a team?

Team, Passion, Football, LeaderHaving just braved the football field for the last couple of hours watching my son’s team lose 1-0 to a great side, I got to think about team work.

To set a bit of context, my son’s team, North Cave Tigers (Under 11’s) in East Yorkshire (UK), is at the top of their league and haven’t lost a game for some months now. They’re a good set of lads with great management and training coaches.

Today, it just wasn’t working for the first 20 minutes, and the opposition scored. They weren’t talking to each other, weren’t watching or supporting each other and they weren’t fully engaged in the game at all. Then the energy shifted; they were up against it, some natural leaders started to bark encouragement and with great shouts from the sidelines the team came back. For the rest of the match the game was played pretty much in the opposition’s half of the pitch, the lads went for every opportunity, winning many, and they had multiple shots at goal, unfortunately not getting an equaliser. But what a difference, being put on the back foot, so to speak, had on the competitors. They communicated, they passed, they watched each other and the competition, they took risks and when they didn’t work out they tried a different one.

My son was in tears at the end of the match – he’d tried so hard, they’d all tried hard, but they had  lost the game and maybe their top position; but I’ve never been so proud of him. He’d put every ounce of passion he had into winning that game – this one got away, but if he puts that much effort into everything he does – I see great things ahead.

In a business context, it shouldn’t be any different. Imagine a business team, completely focussed on results, with every member knowing what they have to do on the ‘pitch’ and how they can contribute to the business at hand. Everyone able to communicate freely, watching each other backs as well as the competition – even when they’re not all in the same role / team, everyone cheering each other onto succeed and sharing in each other’s success. That takes leadership, and not just from the top.

About Mark Conway
A highly motivated executive with 18 years business experience in fixed / mobile telecommunications and IT Services. A strong record of delivering sales and large-scale change programmes, improving customer experience and with a proven ability to build, lead & manage high quality teams; offering strong relationship building, commercial & decision making skills, gained working in technology and telecommunications for KC, KCOM & O2 in the UK, and with BT Wholesale, IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Deloitte, SAP and Cisco in partnership. My Blogs: Think Oak! - http://www.oakconsult.co.uk/blog Life Spirit - http://www.lifespirit.biz

One Response to What makes a team?

  1. William Failey says:

    A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

    Lao Tzu

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