Browse Month: June 2010

More on team leadership in business and sport

Yesterday we looked at some of the lessons from successful sporting teams that we can apply to business and work teams, including:

  • Different Types of Competition
  • The Power of Discipline, and
  • The Importance of Teamwork and Trust.
  • Today I will share three more valuable insights you can apply from high performance sporting teams to fostering high performance business and work teams.

    A Common Goal:

    Share your vision with your team members and encourage them to commit to realising it. Look for any challenges that your team members are facing when they try to achieve their best. Ask your team members what you can do to help and empower them to do whatever it is they do best to help you achieve your vision and milestones.

    It is also important to ensure that everyone on your team really wants to be there. It’s very difficult to create a cohesive team if you have a reluctant member undermining the vision everyone else is trying to achieve. When someone has the skills and the commitment, both to the vision you are trying to realise and to the team that is trying to achieve it, you will create a powerful force that guarantees success.

    Individual Needs:

    No quality sporting coach puts every member of a team through exactly the same training regime. So be conscious of the individual needs of all members of your team.

    Find out why individual team members are actually working for you. This will help you identify specific ways to help them develop their skills or make best use of their existing skills and work preferences. You may even find that they would fit better into a different role all part of your organisation.

    Get to know everyone on your team well enough to understand exactly what their personal picture of success looks like to them and what qualities, skills and experiences they bring to the team. This will help you to help them to be more motivated in their contributions to the team and to achieving your company’s vision.


    Finally, make it a habit to ask all your team members for their ideas and opinions. No one, including you, has a monopoly on good ideas. And in fact your team members who are working at the coalface can often understand the situation from a unique perspective, generating useful insights and opportunities for improvement.

    When you ask team members for their ideas you are acknowledging their personal value to the team and offering a special type of recognition that workers appreciate immensely.

    By being open to team members’ suggestions you will not only achieve an improved outcome, you will be building a more motivated and successful team.

    Kerrie Mullins-Gunst specializes in helping leaders and managers develop all the skills they need to mentor manage and lead. Check out this simple yet powerful tool to improve employee performance and boost workplace motivation:

    Team leadership in business and sport

    All the excitement of the World Cup means there’s a lot of talk at the moment about sports teams, both winners and losers. Even if you don’t follow the World Cup, you probably follow some sort of sport, and sporting teams offer some useful insights for workplace teams. So let’s have a look at a couple of useful team and leadership lessons that can be drawn from the world of peak performance and successful sports.

    Types of Competition:

    One of the key aspects of all sports is competition. Yet there are a range of types of competition that apply in different sports, and different individuals prefer different sports that reflect these various types of competition.

    In sports competition may either be against yourself, another individual or another team. In business we are often competing against other businesses for a client or customer or at other times we are competing against ourselves to improve our own (individual, work group or corporate) performance. So it is important to remember that some individuals on your workplace team may be more motivated by a different style of competition.


    In both business and on the sports field discipline plays a key part in success. A long-term commitment to developing all the skills that are required to succeed is the foundation of both sporting and business success. Individuals and teams who have the commitment to see through a task will enjoy more success than others.

    Sticking to your plan might sometimes seem dull and boring, but it will set you apart from all your competitors in both business and sport.


    As in many sports, in the workplace successful teams only develop when team members know how to work with others and are willing to trust one another.

    As a team leader in the workplace it is important that you accept the sorts of responsibilities that the head coach would have in a winning team. You need to check to be sure that all members of your team fit into the team, respect one another, work together well and support each other.

    Any signs of poor teamwork must be addressed immediately.

    Tomorrow I’ll share with you three more team leadership lessons we can apply in the workplace from the world of sport…

    Kerrie Mullins-Gunst specializes in helping leaders and managers develop all the skills they need to mentor manage and lead. Check out this simple yet powerful tool to improve employee performance and boost workplace motivation: