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It’s March Madness – what can we learn from GREAT teams?

Published on Mar 23, 2017.

We are in the midst of March Madness. It is Sweet Sixteen season. At this time of the year, as a nation, we love basketball. Whether you are a loyal, die-hard fan or a fair weather tournament only enthusiast, the fervor of March Madness can grip you. Through the craziness of unexpected loss and triumphant wins, we watch teams ride the waves of emotion through success and defeat. We find a type of magic in the madness as we see a small group of individuals unite and strive for victory.

What separates the good teams from the great teams?

Most of us are part of a team somewhere, and we want to be part of something great, not just good. We want to be the 15 seed success. What can move your team from good to great? What can give your team that magic in the midst of the madness?

Clearly, skills are an essential ingredient for being a great team. But beyond the skills is where the magic lies. Great teams pro-actively invest time in more than just the skills of the game. The skills, doing the job well, are vital, of course, but there is much more to a great team. You can have five players on a team, each highly skilled, but not have a great team. Some elements are critical in moving a group of people from good to great.

How well do these five people trust each other?

A great team can depend on one another; they can anticipate and trust the skills, behaviors, and motives of their teammates.

Do the players communicate well?

Each team member knows what is going on, the role to be played, the expectations, and can talk about problems when they arise. Great teams have the courage to address the difficult issues.

Does the good of the team matter more than the product of the individual?

A ball hog or a showboat can take the entire team down. A great team works together for the good of the whole.

Your team can be a great team. You can invest in each other in a way that moves you from good to great. Good teams can become great teams by working together for the good of the whole and by investing the time to develop trust and communication.

Will your team be the next 15 seed success?

Written by Christa Sandidge
Assistant Director, Team Development Instructor
The Center for Professional Development

Are you interested in getting Team Development training? Contact Christa at csandidge@nnu.edu about bringing her Team Development workshop into your organization.