Money-Making High-Performance Teams and Baseball Wisdom

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					Money-Making High-Performance Teams and Baseball Wisdom
There's something magical about an optimally performing team. It's not a
myth that on a true team the whole is much greater than the sum of the
parts. That's why team sports are so appealing. We are watching history
unfold as a group of men or women work in total unity with a concerted
effort towards one goal. But if you've ever coached a team you know that
teaching technique is the easy part. Motivating a player to optimal
performance is the tough part. So how do you do it? Specifically, how do
we coach or train a person in our organization or business so that they
fit into a highly motivated team? Here are some tips.
First, use the language of "WE." It's what I call "teamthink." From the
beginning of orientation it's not about me or "the company"'s about
"we" and the team. I, me, my, versus us, we, our is a very powerful
distinction. Either you are going to succeed using your people or your
people are going to succeed together with you in the lead. "Let's do
this..." "Our goal is..." "When we all work together..." "Let's win
this..." etc. etc. I remember the theme song for the World Series
Baseball team I pitched for. It was "We are family..." by Sly and the
Family Stone. That's how it should be in your organization or
business...a team or family of committed people. Not just a bunch of
individuals looking out for themselves. It starts with how we talk.
Next, find a niche position for everyone. That's the beauty of baseball.
There are distinct positional skills needed all over the field. You need
the lightning quick, strong-armed third baseman, the smart quick-thinking
second baseman, the solid, defensive strategist catcher, and so on. Every
position has a unique set of gifts and abilities that make each person
invaluable on a team. That means that that we make sure that each person
on our team is placed exactly where their strengths will fly. You'll have
the bean counters, administrative whizzes, your 1st impression
specialists, your creative rebels, your stubborn technicians, your
leaders and more. Individually, some of them may seem rather boring or
unnecessary, BUT on a team, they are essential. The bring an expertise
and talent to just the right area of your endeavor that you need. And
when you keep them coordinated and's like a symphony.
A commitment to equipping each position is key. That means training. A
person will give you 100% when they feel like they are being valued and
appreciated and invested in. Be sure to provide the specific training
that sharpens and builds into your people. At practice the great teams
will separate into positions and allow each position to focus intensely
on the specific skills of that position. Catchers field 200 wild pitches
and 20 bunts, the outfielders run down 100 flyballs and hit their cut-off
man on the throw in, the infielders work with grounders, special plays,
and accuracy of their throws, the pitchers tune up their arms and then
spend time fielding and running (and running and running...not allowed to
get tired)
Then the team is pulled together for team plays and everyone feels
prepared and valued.
Also, everyone is taught team offense. Each person on your team needs to
know how their contribution moves the company/organization towards
achieving it's goals. In baseball, everyone goes up to bat and often
times the fate of the entire team can be put in the hands of a single at-
bat by someone. You might need a bunt, sacrifice fly, single to the
opposite field, or a game breaking extra-base hit. And you never know who
will be up to bat when that moment comes. So you prepare your team
offense and make sure that everyone can do their job when called upon.
That's one of the keys to keeping everyone motivated. You keep the focus
on the big picture. And in baseball the big picture means a "W" (win).
Every individual yields personal gain for the sake of the ONE team goal.
A pitcher leaves the mound without throwing a tantrum, a big hitter lays
down a bunt, a starter gives way to a pinch runner, and many more acts of
sacrifice to move towards victory. That means that you make the heroes of
your office the ones who contribute to the team. You lift up acts of
sacrifice and hard work. You recognize the efforts that contribute toward
a win. One key to keeping the big picture in mind is celebrating wins.
Every win should be a time to cheer and recognize the team play that got
you there.
What happens when you start doing this? First you'll feel a sense of
loyalty from your people. They will not want to play for anyone but you.
Why? Because they know that while you keep your eye on the big picture,
you know that it takes a team to get there. And for a team to perform,
individuals must be taken care of, trained, praised, and valued. Everyone
must feel s sense of loyalty to each other because they can see how each
one fits into the scheme of a victory. And best of all, when a person
wakes up on Monday morning and they get into their car, they are excited
about going to work. They approach what they do with a passion. And when
a group of passionate people get together, they can achieve great things.
I'll never forget the captain of my championship summer league team (the
Ujimori Hawks). He was 35 years old (seemed ancient to a 19 yr. old
pitcher) and played for the love of the game. He was also a great
athlete. He would call us together before we ran out to start a game and
we would put our hands together in the huddle and he would say, "15
players, but one heartbeat!" Your business or organization will determine
what that heartbeat is...but it must be shared by all to be a true high
performance team. One team. One heartbeat.
Mark Olmos has been serving people for 30 years and now helps people set
up their own successful home businesses. You can find his website at:

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