The recent Olympic men’s gold hockey final game got me thinking about this question. It was triggered when I watched Jarome Iginla make an amazing pass to team Canada’s captain Sidney Crosby, after which he shot the puck and scored winning Canada’s 14th gold medal.
How often do we spend time trying to take the glory for ourselves, rather than considering what we can contribute to a common shared goal/success? Working with management teams, I notice a lot more fighting for attention and recognition rather than cooperation; people looking out for themselves but not for the team. Teams require a few conditions to perform well together – I think this game definitely illustrated at least two of these.
The first is the shared purpose among team members. When people have a common goal and that is what comes first as a means to bind them, the purpose becomes higher than their own ego. It enables them to achieve more individual success than if they were just looking out for themselves. From what I’ve seen online, it’s not just Crosby’s name that’s being tossed around as a hero, but Iginla too. The second is people sticking to their role and having the flexibility to use their judgement. When my brother played football as a kid, every kid would all constantly be running together after the ball in a little pack. Management teams also have the tendency to do this – all doing the same thing, working getting duplicated several times over, and balls being dropped/scores being missed simply because people are so eager to catch the glory for themselves. The best management teams are the ones where people know their role, they stick to it, and they use their judgement on when they need to step in to support.
I’m definitely inspired by what I saw – a strong team enabling each other to win. When was the last time you set someone up for shared success?