Have you ever been part of a youth sports team? Do you remember all the practices, games, and tournaments with your teammates?  You may recall less than good memories or it may have been the best time of your life. Either way, there were 10 commandments that shaped you for success.

What I have come to learn as a team player, a team leader and a team supporter is the following 10 commandments are what makes up the foundation to being successful.  These ten consist of learning and applying skills, techniques, tactics and strategies to any project be it a sport, a business or a personal group:

  1. Manage Your Time: Practice and games have a start time and end time. As a player you are expected to deliver your best within that timeline.  In our personal and professional lives we all have 24 hours in a day. What we do with that time is up to us.  When you commit to others there is something that clicks in your mind.  You decide to schedule your time to be present, be on time, deliver on time, and understand the agenda of others.  You take ownership of your importance to be there for the group.
  1. Play Your Role: Knowing what it is you are to do within in the confines of the team boundaries is the foundation of your role. Your key to success and the success of the whole team is doing your job and not the job of someone else.  Because if you do someone else’s – then you are not doing your own.  And that would be 2 mistakes.  You take on a position with the understanding that you will deliver.  That is exactly what is expected of you as well.
  1. Work with Others: A team sport is a team sport because there are more than one person on a team. Your job on a team is to respect yourself and others. You need to co-ordinate with teammates so you can share the workload for optimal output.  Excel at what you do well – and let others do the same.  You may be the best, but your job is to help others for the betterment of the team.  For example – Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Gretzky always found ways to raise the level of play of his teammates.  He knew without them there would be no team success.
  1. Understand Hierarchy: A team sport is filled with levels: players, coaches, management, ownership.  In your business who do you report to – or said another way, who are you accountable to, besides yourself?
  • If you are a business owner – you will need to rely on your team to deliver. Your job is to put the right people in place.
  • If you are management – you will need to respond to the needs and wants of the owner, while guiding the team to deliver. You will need to communicate effectively, measure the effectiveness and monitor the efficiency from the team.
  • If you are an employee (a player) – you need to know you will get advice, direction and criticism while delivering your talents to a task.

Once in a while it is good to take a look at the hierarchy and understand the demands on each role of a company.

  1. Push Yourself – A player learns quickly that there is a higher level of performance. They know when to step up their level of play – to be the best and to find the inner strength to raise the team’s play.  The same goes for you. What level are you playing at?  Have you given the task at hand all you have?  You may feel like you are not winning in your business or in your life.  But what can you do a little more of?  What if the project you are working on is not going so well but it has nothing to do with you?  Is there something you can say to someone to inspire them or motivate them?   You will need to push aside limiting beliefs and make a decision for the good of the team.  You can only control the moment you are in.
  1. Support – Players know to play at their best they need to work with teammates in situations. As an employee you do the same, letting your teammate do the work, but advising them your help is available.  As a manager you know to work with staff and ownership providing insight, statistics and expertise supports them when analyzing a situation.  As a business owner you have to provide the tools and resources for management and staff to deliver. You need to be supportive to business partners and you need to provide customer service to clients.  Support can be as simple as lend an ear to someone or as complex as bringing in external help like a coach or consultant to improve a situation.
  1. Let Someone Else Shine – every player knows that sometimes it is someone else’s turn to shine. Let another score the goal or take the shot.  In business you must be willing to let those around you be the star as well. As a business owner or team lead, it is too easy to take on the charge. Your people have a specific skills. They have passion. Allow them to gain the spotlight. This is similar to taking things off your plate so you can deliver on your expertise and passion.
  1. Deliver When it is Your Turn – There are times when a task or situation requires you. That is when you need to step up and be the best you can be. Your team needs you to deliver at certain times. Like you rely on them – they rely on you.  Share your expertise, execute on a task find your best and give it to the rest.
  1. Shake it Off – You make a mistake and now what?  Do you wallow in sorrow? Do you only focus on your opinion of yourself?  In hockey, when a player has a bad shift (their turn to play) and they come to the bench, their teammates are quick to forgive.  Shake it off and get them next time.  Change the focus by self-forgiveness and apply their talents again.  It is not the screw up that is important.  It is what you do after the screw up that is important.
  1. Focus on Outcome – The best thing you can do is focus on what it is you want to achieve. The outcome of a situation that you can control.  In sports a team cannot control the scoreboard. They control the way in which they play (actions they take), the decisions they make and the thoughts they think.  The outcome is not the score… that is cannot be controlled. The scoreboard is merely the result of what was done collectively by the team.  The outcome is what is in your control.

There are more ways of being the best you can be at what you do. This list is not all encompassing but it does provide a foundation to what your code of conduct should be. Team sports at a minimum teach us these behavioral attributes which can be applied to any business or company we part take in.  If your company wants to strengthen itself… register for a Free 30 minute business consultation today!

Yours in Midlife.

Kevin Huhn
Creator, “Total Branding Blueprint”
Author, “How to Reinvent Midlife Dreams”