Bill Belichick once told the New England Patriots as they were going out to play a game that they needed to make sure they were a real team and not just a bunch of guys in the same uniform.
That remark stuck with me. It was a seemingly insignificant message, a throwaway line. It contained in many ways the fundamental premise of his entire philosophy: football is a team sport and we win or lose as a team. If we work hard enough at being a team, not just a bunch of guys in the same uniform, we will win a lot more games than we will lose. And perhaps not said, but implied, is that we must constantly strive to be a team, we must constantly structure that reality, we must constantly behave as a team, it is the reality of who we are that we must consciously embrace every minute of every day.
Well, it is equally true that as soon as you have more than one employee, you become a team. In that regard, being a team must mean more than just a group of guys in the same uniform. It must mean that you work, train, think, act and speak like you are a team. It must mean you have each other’s backs and that each member does his job each day as perfectly and professionally as he possibly can. It must mean that as a group you are equally committed to winning, to being the best you can be as a team, to so outshining your competition that they become no more than an afterthought in your market. That’s what a team can accomplish that a mere group of individuals cannot.
As a team, each success is everyone’s to share. Any individual failure is a failure of the whole group. Team members don’t compete against each other. They know that only when they work together can they create the kind cohesion that will lead to success.
However, it is also true that great teams are composed of great players, players with the right attitude and the most thorough preparation. They are composed of players who are devoted to continual improvement and who receive constant training designed to move them to increasingly higher levels of performance. They are molded into a team by a leader who both understands the value of teamwork and knows how to build and maintain a winning team.
Is it worth moving your company in this direction? Is it worth creating the training, supervision, motivation, and inspiration it takes to mold a winning team? Do you believe that it requires more effort and thought than just putting your guys in matching uniforms? If you do, you have the beginnings of what it takes to structure the successful enterprise of your dreams. You are on your way to discovering that the personal rewards of doing that greatly exceed the financial success you will realize as a byproduct.