How to Build a Winning Team

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The desire to win is essential.  According to John Wooden, “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” Long term winning, is a result of character, having a strategy and implementing it effectively. I found this great article, How to Build a Winning Team, by Jack and Suzy Welch. I have summarized the four necessities of a winning team.

1)      The leaders of winning teams always-always- let their people know where they stand.

They reward top performers for every contribution, building their self-confidence and so they have the guts to take on even greater challenges and holding them up as a role model for others on the team. Similarly, on winning teams, leaders devote a lot of energy to middling performers, relentlessly coaching. As for the do-nothings: leaders face these individuals with a sense of reality, spending only the time to help them put together a resume and find a job where they will be more successful.

2)      Winning teams know the game plan.

There will never be a winning business team that lacks a clear sense of how the competition thinks and fighting—and how it’s going to think and fight better. Most leaders explain the game plan in very vague and mushy terms. On winning teams leaders infuse their people with crazy-positive enthusiasm about what winning will look like for the company and, more important (as it’s often forgotten), for them as individuals. Clarity. Direction. Outcome. Ready, forward, charge.

3)      Winning teams are honest.

The simple truth is that candor breeds trust. When a team is infused with trust people play to their better angles. They share ideas freely. They help their colleagues when they are stuck and need an insight. What they do every day then becomes the groups success, not their own. The candor-trust connection has another benefit: it promotes an environment of risk taking. Leaders of winning teams encourage their people to take on huge challenges and let them know they are safe no matter what happens. Only in such environments will people be bold. And only bold teams win.

4)      Winning teams celebrate.

Most leaders don’t understand the tight link between celebrating small successes along the way and achieving the one at the end. Teams that get pizza when they land a new client, or go on trips when they hit a sales milestone, or otherwise whoop it up every time something good happens create a delicious dynamic. They teach people what it feels like to win, which is well, a very good feeling. It makes people want to win more. In fact, they never want the feeling to go away. So they do everything to keep winning.


The great Green Bay Packer Coach, Vince Lombardi, said “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!”


Live long and prosper.

Captain's Log


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