Do you really want a championship team?

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In an executive coaching session recently I asked the question, “Do you want a championship team?” After a slight pause the answer was, “Yes. Well…yes I do.” Knowing that answers a lot of questions, doesn’t it?

When I tweeted this question some responded that it was a silly question. Doesn’t everyone want a championship team? In a theoretical way, probably but the realities of some situations require that you settle for less than that. Well, at least that’s what some leaders tell themselves. Think about a championship team and what it takes to build one in your organization. There are certainly some commitments that need to be made by you and many around you. Are you willing?

Some leaders have settled into a false reality that their team must be made up of all levels of performers that range from those that just show up (maybe), to solid everyday grunts that have limits, and a few stars. That’s just the way it is.

If you answer YES to the question we’re asking, then you will still have a varied strata of performers but the situation is quite a bit different because everyone will be going somewhere, at different speeds of course, but no one will have settled into a permanent no-growth spot on the team. That’s just not acceptable. On championship teams everyone is striving for excellence and exhibits an extraordinary commitment.

Just some of the effects of exploring this question and making the commitment to a championship team:

  • Hiring better is vital.
  • Tolerance of inconsistent behavior is reduced.
  • Removing deadwood is a necessity.
  • People development becomes a natural priority.
  • Rigorous, exacting standards are expected and valued at all levels.
  • Communication is less forced.
  • Opportunities increase.

What opportunities and challenges do you see in committing to building and sustaining a championship team and making this standard operating procedure?

Photo credit: Derek K. Miller

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On August 26, 2014
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