We all have positions, but what you do as a professional is much more important. When I left sports and began to impact the business world, I instantly saw a huge void in business and how leaders built their teams. So I began to develop content and intelligence that can be transposed to the business world and empowers leaders to have teambuilding strategy. Teamwork is simple, but only because of my sports background and advanced experience in teamwork. As a long-time athlete, I was an expert on teamwork without even trying to be. However, it has taken me years to formulate, articulate, and teach what I know about teamwork to others. It was frustrating to know and understand teamwork while organizations were losing millions of dollars and struggling to thrive or even survive.
When I explain my teamwork strategies to other athletes, they light up because they understand it well. A professional sports scout has the complex task of finding talent, finding the right position for the talent, and projecting what that talent can do. The position an athlete should play is the easy part—diagnosing and predicting what an athlete can do is another ball game all together. That is where a great scout makes their money.
I’ve played on a variety of sports teams between the ages of 7 and 30. I was on horrible teams like the 1992 Dallas Mavericks (we only won 13 games the entire season, a very painful experience). I can go back farther than that if you want to talk about pain. My very first team at seven years old was a baseball team called the Eagles, and we didn’t win a game the entire season. To make matters worse, we had yellow uniforms and were teased by our peers. The good news is that I was a part of a very successful college basketball program at the University of Minnesota where we made it all the way to the Sweet 16 in 1989 and Elite 8 in 1990. We were really bad when I arrived on campus, but I saw a winning program transformed right before my eyes. The transition from a horrible team to a successful one may have been the most gratifying experience of my career. In my NBA experience, the good news is that after my Mavericks experience, I joined the winning Utah Jazz in 1993-1994. We made it all the way to the western conference finals and lost to the eventual winner, Houston Rockets. I had a chance to play for the legendary coach Jerry Sloan and Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone. It was the best team I ever played with.
In business, everyone subscribes to positions that are mutually accepted and used as designations. Companies call their employees everything from CEO, President, VP of Sales, all the way down to associates—a fancy name for hourly employees. Every company throws out titles like peanuts to elephants, but I saw something missing: titles everywhere but no language or understanding of what each professional actually does. I know you are an executive, but what do you do? How do you impact the game of business? There is a void in business regarding what professionals actually do—until our workshop on team building. Now, you can build a team because you understand that you can’t build on titles alone—chemistry and teamwork are based on what professionals actually do.
Based on our teamwork model, what do you do? Are you an innovator? Are you an implementer? Are you a professional instigator? Are you an improver or an executor? The bottom line is that you need to know what you do before you can build a team around you. We love seeing the lights turn on as we teach our teamwork concepts to business leaders. I recently had a professional come to me in tears after a half-day workshop. She said that she had hated her job for 10 years and it almost ruined her life. She never knew why she hated her job, but the workshop taught her that she was an implementer who wasn’t able to implement at work. Our workshop showed her to be enjoy work and become more successful.
Click the button below to receive a complimentary iTeam Audio Download where I teach you how to:
- Build trust and respect between team members.
- Collaborate and best use of each team member’s talents.
- Ignite mutual understanding and respect.
- Delegate tasks in a way that magnifies strength.
- Build micro-teams and how to fix dysfunctional teams.
- Boost employee engagement and job satisfaction.
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