In my last post I attempted to connect October baseball with success in our everyday work. The key points I was trying to make were: perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and staying focused on a goal are cornerstones for success, whether on the field, in the field, or in the office.
While all of these points are important and I believe are very relevant, the other component that contributes to the success of almost any endeavor, whether it is baseball, football, or any other shared activity is teamwork. To continue the sports to work analogy, in any team sport, it is important for all players to understand the game plan, their roles, assignments, and the rules of the game. This is especially critical in sports such as football or rugby, where mistakes can be not only costly, but physically painful. A missed assignment could result in a turnover, a sack or injury to the quarterback, and can turn a victory into a defeat.
The most successful teams have a chemistry, great communication, and trust that their teammates will be there for them when things get difficult. They are also competitive – the best teams have players and contributors who want to be the best – they want to win and they want to succeed – but that doesn’t mean that they have to be negative about it. The best teams are respected, not hated – and I was reminded by my friend and co-worker about this the other day. In my last post I was kind of rubbing it in about the Giants beating Atlanta, and what I failed to mention was that as the Giants were celebrating their victory on the field, the Braves fans were cheering for retiring manager Bobby Cox to come and take one final curtain call. The Giants stopped their celebrating and joined in the ovation for Cox, acknowledging and paying respect to the career of the Atlanta manager. While this seems like an obvious thing to do – to show good sportsmanship, to treat your opponent with respect, it is often overlooked both in sports and in business.
Throughout my career I’ve been very fortunate to work in environments where teamwork has been a big part of the culture, and I’ve also worked where it has been the opposite. The difference in attitude, performance, and overall success factors shouldn’t be a surprise.
We have what I believe to be a great team in place here at D-Tools, and while we don’t always agree on everything, one thing that we try to re-enforce as a company is that everyone on our team understands their role and how they contribute to our shared success. We want to compete in our field and deliver a world class experience to our customers. We have not always been successful in that area, but we are constantly trying to improve – our software, our technical support, our customer service, our training and client interactions, our sales and marketing processes.
It takes an entire team effort to be successful enough to make it to October when it comes to baseball. To be successful in business is an ongoing pursuit, and it requires that focused effort and teamwork everyday. The more that you focus on the shared vision, that shared vision becomes your rallying point, and that becomes your company culture. We’re striving to build and maintain that winning culture – based on a single shared vision, communicated to the team, and executed with purpose and respect. It’s been a great ride so far.