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Blog: The power of the team

The power of the team

We are in the midst of a summer of sporting success in the UK. At the Rio Olympics, so far Team GB have brought home a gold and 3 silvers in the pool, and a bronze in both the synchronised diving and shooting events. Earlier in the summer, Chris Froome became Britain’s first three-time winner of the Tour de France as part of Team Sky and Andy Murray became Wimbledon champion for the second time – crediting his relationship with coach Ivan Lendl as being key to his ongoing success.

In contrast to this, the England football team were knocked out of the early stages of Euro 2016 by Iceland, a tiny nation whose entire population is the size of a small English city. In the English Football Premier League, Leicester City made dreams come true, beating bigger and much better financed teams to take the winner’s trophy. Watching events unfold in the English Football Premier League and in the Euro 2016 competition in France, an interesting theme seemed to emerge about talent and teamwork. On paper, Leicester City, who took the Premiership title, should not have been in the running. The same seems to be true for Italy, Iceland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Pundits had very low expectations of these teams achieving any success, even in the group qualifying rounds. Yet, in the final we saw Portugal prevail over a powerful French team to win the European Cup. In both of these examples, neither Iceland or Leicester City had more money or more access to talent than their competition. So what was it that made the difference?

The expert commentators consistently expressed their view that a focus on teamwork and a well-understood system of play, had proved to be more important to success than the presence of supreme individual talent on the pitch.

This comes as no surprise to our practitioner team at Complete Coherence. For the best expression of our talents in business or in team sports, we need not only a competitive game plan (vision and strategy), but also collective cohesion and alignment to a way of playing (a system). Together with, clarity of roles and expectations, deeper bonds and mutual understanding of our personal qualities and high levels of trust is what drives success.

Developing the power of the team requires both attention to individual skills and the development of collective will. One without the other will lead to sub optimal performance. For a team to develop, leaders must engage their teams in developmentally focused discussions. These discussions answer fundamental questions, such as what is our purpose, what is our vision and ambition, and what is our strategy for success.

Teams must also establish high performing relationships and that can only be done through an examination of the way we play, the qualities we value, and the behaviours that evidence our progression to the next and higher levels of team performance.

 Click here For more information on how Complete Coherence approach team development.

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Nick Twyman

Nick has 30 years experience as an executive. He brings a degree in Behavioural Science, 20 years as an executive and over 12 years as a leadership coach.

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