Sports clubs know some important principles of success that great organisations also adopt. For instance, coaches talk about the ‘one percenters’, the small things that need to be done well that collectively bring success. Detail matters.
Coaches don’t always make the best players. They know the strategy, they know their players, they know what works and they work hard. Just like any good leader in any organisation, they are integral to the running and their performance is critical to success. But they must be assisted by people under them and by other people who support what they do in other vital areas of the organisation, so that multiple people work together for collective success.
Successful teams also understand where the real action is. Change rooms get players equipped and ready for action on the field, but they are never to be the players’ preoccupation. They need to be painted, cleaned and maintained, but their purpose is to equip the players for the service they really provide out in the field of battle.
There is a bottom line measurement that really matters – the scoreboard – and every organisation needs to clarify their ‘win’. And a goal is not scored when the ball is simply kicked or the opposition is engaged, but only when the ball is in ‘the net’.
Finally, individuals matter, but nothing matters more than team success. Alignment of people is to a collective goal. Successful teams don’t tackle each other, but they complement each member and ‘kick in the same direction’, so to speak. A champion team will always beat a team of champions.