When you watch the Super Bowl Champions take the field at the end of the game you see a cohesive group of players committed to sacrificing to do what it takes to achieve their common goal, ‘The Lombardi Trophy.’ How is it that some teams are constantly in the playoffs? They have created a winning culture. When we study and apply winning principles we can affect our lives and businesses in ways that can produce a heightened sense of fulfillment.
Leadership icon Warren Bennis wrote, “Never before in the History of business has the impact of organizational culture been more critical to the success of organizations and the effectiveness of individuals leading them.” LIFE Leadership is an example of how a company creates success through a culture of collaboration by working in teams. By developing the concept of ‘Compensated Communities’, LIFE Leadership develops an environment where teams meet and provide reinforcement on a regular basis. Members take the approach that learning is done in small increments like daily reading and listening habits. Then teams take measurements of their progress similar to football when the ball moves down ten yards. This scoreboard is the reality check that makes it possible for a winning team to make the necessary adjustments. Anonymous, “What gets measured gets peoples attention.”
Winning cultures take place when each member is driven to do their best by taking responsibility for their own actions in order to reach a common goal. Paul J Meyer writes about the 4 Elements of taking responsibility.
- The buck stops here: Nothing happens until then.
- Never blame others: Business expert Tom Peters writes, “For the last two decades, the most exercised part of the corporate body has been the pointed finger.”
- Make it personal: Take responsibility for your actions and feelings.
- Be willing to change: People who accept responsibility are quick to change.
A study of sales associates when asked, “Why they weren’t more attentive and friendlier to customers?” Answered, “Who’s friendlier and attentive to me?” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about a “Collective responsibility when somebody does something well, we all do it well. When somebody makes a mistake, we all make a mistake.” However, when winning cultures and teams excel at taking responsibility for their individual performance, collaboration is forged with strong communication skills.
How many of us recognize that for strong communication to occur actions must speak louder than words. Studies show that 90% of all communication is non - verbal. Actions that back up what we say create a bond of trust when we sacrifice for each other. The great football coach Paul Brown said, “Nothing devastates a football team like a selfish player. It’s a cancer.” Communication begins with how we talk and listen to each other. Can any of us relate to coming from an environment where there is complaining, negativity, and gossip? Best selling author Orrin Woodward writes in ‘RESOLVED, 13 RESOLUTIONS FOR LIFE,’ “I define tact as the ability to influence others through using proper words and actions without offending the other party. Truth in love is the principle, but it is easier said than done.” Winning teams look for someone who can carry a message. What you don’t say may be as important as what you do say. Don’t let things fester. Inner conflict can distract and derail a team.
Great teams work with each other with a passionate desire to achieve victory. They collaborate. Collaboration is energizing. Winners become an effective team when they develop trust and accountability and agree that the best way to achieve a common goal is to cooperate. When studying all winning teams and business you’ll find that when things happen quickly and smoothly, it’s a sign of collaboration. John Wooden said, “The main ingredient in stardom is the rest of the team.”
What Warren Bennis writes about organizational culture is true and explains why winning teams repeat their winning performance. A winning culture starts when leaders accept responsibility for their actions, excel in communication, and collaborate with other members on a common goal. Winston Churchill wrote, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” “Everyone has a role.” If you want to create a winning culture it’s time to play your role. God Bless, George Guzzardo