Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So the Mavs won?

Who would have thought it? The Mavericks win the NBA title over the Thrice Blessed, Star Studded Trinity of DWade, LeBron and CBosh.
It just goes to show you that "team" will always prevail over talent.
I have played on teams with great players. And I have played on great teams with average players. One star does not a great team make, and now I guess we can say that 3 stars does not a great team make.
Team building is one of my passions. I love to surround myself with like minded individuals who put their own egos and desires aside and strive for the best for the team. It is not always easy, many times people do not want to take a back seat or a subordinate role for the best of the team.
I remember a story I heard one time about a large company CEO who challenged another large company CEO to a team competition. They met and decided that they would do a mock war simulation in a forest environment with a ten person detail. The way it worked was this, they would take their ten best, camouflage them up, give them paint ball guns, paint ball grenades and paint ball land mines and whoever captured the other's base won the contest and the bragging rights. The ego minded CEO (whose team we will call the red team) put himself as team leader and picked his ten biggest, toughest and strongest people in his company to make up his team. The other CEO (whose team we will call the blue team) picked people from his organization not based on strength or skill but on the ability to work as a team. Each of them spent a week training with a former military commander who went over basic maneuvers and tactics with each team. When the time came for the battle, the Ego Centric CEO led his troops from the front, straight to the opponents base. The other CEO carefully arranged his troops to best defend his position and attack the other team from the flanks instead of head on. Two of the smallest people on the blue team were sent out as scouts and found a place and hid, allowing the opposing team who all traveled together to pass them without knowing they were there. As the red team approached the blue teams base the CEO of the red team who was leading tripped a land mine essentially eliminating himself and two of the people behind him. The red team was in turmoil as the remaining seven big tough individuals tried to figure out who would be in charge now that the CEO was eliminated. Unknown to them the blue team had taken up positions around the ambush site and all started to open fire at the same time on the arguing seven red team members. Four went down in the first volley of paint and the remaining three turned to retreat the way they had came only to encounter the two small members of the blue team that had hid in the woods. They opened fire and painted two of the three red teams members eliminating them from the competition while the third ran off by himself heading for the red base. The blue team leader them gathered his troops and forced a surrender of the only remaining red team member. The blue team had won the battle with no casualties and had decimated the red team.
When the military commander who witnessed the battle commented later on the competition, he said that he knew before the battle started who was going to win. The ego of the red team leader doomed his more talented, stronger and bigger people because he was not the best suited to lead his team in this battle. In their week of training a couple of the red teams middle managers showed better instincts and tactical skill than the CEO had but he still relegated himself as the leader. Where on the blue team the military commander noticed that the leader was better suited to lead and direct from the back lines and not the front lines. They worked with their strengths and won the battle.
So I said all of this to make this point. Sometimes it is not the superstars that make a great team. Sometimes it is a leader who knows when to lead from the back, let his people do what they do best and stay out of the way.

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