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Team and Organization the Way to Go

Who is it that really wins Championships? Is it the players that compete for them, the coaches that come up with the game plans for them, or the organization which builds the right structure and environment for them? One would like to think  it’s a combination of all three and many would argue it’s the players, in the end, that really matter when trying to win a title. Several organizations may also think like this way which is why you see specific emphasis on man management and care and provisions for the athletes or players. It’s where the leadership or organization understands the importance of the athletes or players and they go the distance in trying to ensure the athletes have the best possible opportunity to perform at their peak. But what we see here  is also the important role of the organization where the persons at that level are responsible for making things happen.

"The team is great, but the organization is one of the all-time great, if not the greatest organizations ever. That’s what I’m so much proud of,” said former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause in the Last Dance. It goes on to show where Phil Jackson tried to have balance between the two, making Michael Jordan and Krause co-exist in relative peace. Jackson was loyal to both as Krause gave him his shot in the NBA, believed in him, and make him to Head Coach.  Jackson would go onto say that Krause was ahead of the pack from the very earlies. Before it was standard procedure, Krause introduced a system where all Bulls training sessions and games were recorded and used for reviews.Krause hired an internist to “process players’ needs as a whole player. This points to the fact that continuously thinking ahead and being innovative is critical for management in preparation for competition or when trying to build a strong platform for the future of an organization and team.

“He (Krause) was ahead of the curve I’d say by 10 years in a lot of the things we did for the whole person, a players’ total being,” Jackson said. Sport today is covered more indepth and the public gets a better picture as to what goes on both on and off the playing field. We see it in football and cricket with all the different systems such as player analytics, rehab, match analysis and the different additions to backroom staffs. All of this helps us to understand the value of strong and efficient management, management that is also constantly evolving. We saw France win the 2018 World Cup and whilst the players performed the heroics on the field, we got to view the behind the scenes of where the France Football Association started rewriting the script following their previous lack of success in World Cups after 2006.What makes organizations great is that they build their organization around the athletes and instill a culture of mutual respect between both parties.

There's also the case of where there  a lot of  organizations that have been consistently good but not able to luck into that elite player who takes them to another level. Not all are fortunate to have a Jordan, Diego Maradona, Brian Lara or Dwight Yorke. Does that mean that National team management or the FA's organization should have good work diminished or ignored. Not necessarily by any means. Grant Freeland wrote on Leadership strategy in Forbes, that " For years now, many top talent gurus have focused almost exclusively on the oversized importance of the “top 2%” of employees.  In a Harvard Business Review article several years ago, the authors of the recently published book Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First helped popularize the premise that “2% of the people in a business drive 98% of the impact.”  That premise is now a driving force at many companies. "Unfortunately, it overstates the case and misses a bigger story: that success in today’s business world depends more on collaboration and teamwork than on the performance of any single individual, even one considered a superstar." “As more companies realize that agile ways of working are the new normal in our fast-moving information age, they are turning to cross-functional teams to speed things up and get work done.”  These teams rely on communication and collaboration.  The stars can still shine, they say, “but to be most effective even they need the help of those with skills they don’t have.” To me the "skills" referred to here are those within the organization that completes the overall team effort. Of course it would be great to have a Leo Messi in your line up.  But the real key to success is teamwork and collaboration.  Through them, we make the most of all the talent available to us. Just like the Covid-19 battle perhaps. Together, we'll get through it. by Shaun Fuentes, Guardian columnist and founder of Pushing Limits. He is also a media trainer and past FIFA Media Officer at World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." --Vince Lombardi.


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