Sports have given us many examples of teams that won championships even though they may have had less individual talent than their opponents. An example of this occurred last week when the San Antonio Spurs won the National Basketball Association championship. They defeated the Miami Heat to win their fifth NBA title.
The Spurs may have won the quietest five titles of any professional sports team. So quiet in fact, that I bet most people have no idea the Spurs have won multiple NBA titles, let alone five. I also would be surprised by people who could name three players on the Spurs team. The Spurs certainly don’t have the notoriety of the Heat, the team they just defeated. The Heat have Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. I would gather most of the world has heard of Lebron James. But how many people know the Spurs’ big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili? And even many avid basketball fans have probably never heard of Kawhi Leonard, this year’s finals MVP. Leonard is just the sixth player in NBA history to be named finals MVP after not being named an NBA all-star that year. He also is the youngest finals MVP since 1999 when, oh by the way, Tim Duncan of the Spurs won the award.
As leaders, we have to remember it really is about the team. We can put together a tremendous group of talented individuals, but if they don’t work together and support each other, we may not realize our full potential. Help your team understand that it is team above all else. A rising tide really does float all boats and if we help the team succeed, we’ll all reap the rewards.
It’s not easy to build this unselfish, team-first approach. But if you promote team behavior, curtail selfishness as soon as you see it, and develop a culture of teamwork, your team can compete and even defeat groups of more talented individuals.
Not many people thought the Spurs could defeat the Miami Heat. But the Spurs played team basketball and didn’t care who scored the points or got the recognition. Kawhi Leonard, one of the youngest players on the team, was the MVP and the more prominent stars on the team were thrilled for him. The Spurs are a great example of how unselfishness can result in great teamwork and, ultimately, the realization of your organization’s goals. Great teamwork can result in championship performances. I hope the Spurs can motivate you this week to emphasize the importance of unselfish teamwork with your team.
Thanks for reading,
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