Savvy & Practical: Change the Game Without Trading Players
Sports has become an increasingly complex and interesting industry. The parallels for business are sometimes obvious, at other times subtle. Many lie in how to integrate, develop, manage, and retire players on a team. Stepping into a new leadership role can be a daunting task and often requires a team to return to fundamentals. If you are able to add top draft picks or free agents to a team in transition, it can create a climate of positive anticipation, new energy, and the opportunity to start fresh. More often than not, a team must change their game without trading players. This frequently signals the strength of the back office, as well as the coaches, managers, and players. It is reassuring and refreshing to see a skilled organization revitalize a team that has lost its self-confidence and the loyalty of its fans or customers. Several keys steps are generally undertaken to change your game without trading players.
- Stabilize. Create a climate that reassures and rebuilds the foundation. Lead by example. This is primarily accomplished when leadership puts their “skin in the game.”
- Communicate. There can almost never be too much communication. This requires active listening and a high degree of self-awareness by the team and its leaders. In most cases, facilitation and feedback on a continuing basis are essential.
- Quantify. Develop meaningful and achievable goals and objectives. Utilize a team process to get buy-in from every player.
- Celebrate. Find the accomplishments, and utilize them to spur motivation to move to the next level. Foster an environment that celebrates success and learns from failures and challenges. Motivation comes from within, but is spurred on by recognition from those we respect.
- Dream. Bring the team to the next leveling by tapping into their dreams. No matter how battle worn a team might be, each person underneath it all has dreams and a belief system. It can and should be a springboard to refresh, renew and rebuild.
- Include. Every member of the team has something to contribute. Including each team player in the strategy, as well as the tactics is a sure formula for success. Not doing so is wasted resources.
These principles will lead to measurable financial results and build strong businesses. When failure, challenge, change, or some combination confronts a team, the temptation is to trade players. It takes discipline, savvy and a practical approach to change the game.
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