Over my lifetime I’ve had the opportunity to be on a lot of teams. Starting with my childhood sports teams in soccer, basketball and baseball. After college I continued to play sports, including one of my favorite team sports now, volleyball. There were some teams where we had great individual athletes and we won, and sometimes we had great athletes and lost. There were also times when we didn’t have any superstars and those teams also produced some amazing results. Separate from the winning was the enjoyment from the experience. Last year our daughter was on the JV Basketball at Carlsbad High and the team was not that great, but my daughter had an awesome time and it was fun. So, what is it that makes up great teams and what is the desired end result of these teams?
Great skills and results are just two of the ingredients of a great team for me. The final ingredient for a great team is the enjoyment of everyone on the team. In my experience, the teams that were the most enjoyable to participate in and also produced the best results had some similar characteristics, whether they had stars or not:
There was balance on the team, we all had specific talents that worked together toward our goal
We learned to work together and appreciated our teammates for their skills, even if we didn’t always like them
We had shared values
We had clarity around our shared purpose and our desired end result
We all wanted to be part of something greater than ourselves
When I really think about it, the best teams I’ve been involved in were not about any individual, it was always about the team. If we want to be part of a great team we need to leave our ego at the door and look to understand before we look to be understood. The concept of being part of something greater than ourselves works in sports, in business and in life.
I’ve spent the past few decades evaluating teams and helping teams evolve and grow. I’ve had the pleasure to assemble a few teams myself and have been able to attract some very talented people to work with me. That is an honor and a privilege. At this point I have the opportunity to create a new team and I’m looking forward to developing one that will help grow a new company designed to leave our planet better than we found it. As I’ve matured and starting this journey, I’m not only looking for people who can do the work, I’m looking for so much more.
I’ve often mentioned the four criteria that I’m looking for in people today:
People that are self aware
People interested in leaving the planet better than they found it
They get shit done!
They are dolphins, or total givers that give without any expectations
When I find these individuals, they seem to surround themselves with others like themselves. So, I begin to find veins of game changers and they are all amazing individually. As a collector of these relationships, what’s even more fun than meeting with them individually is bringing them together, especially when they have varied skill sets. I held a meeting just last week with a handful of amazing people and the chemistry was awesome. These are individuals who want to change the world and are naturally interested in being part of something greater than themselves. These individuals tend to appreciate diverse perspectives, and when you combine that with a drive to get things done you have a powerful engine for growth.
So, as I continue to travel around the San Diego community and meet all of these like-minded, like-hearted professionals, we are building a tribe. This tribe will be able to create some great teams together, teams that will not only produce great results, they will do so with great satisfaction and enjoyment amongst the participants. I’m excited about the coming year and seeing what great teams evolve out of the tribe we are building.