Team vs Employee

Team vs. Employee

Think about a team you’re familiar with. Is it sports-related? If so, you’re on the right track! Sports give us great examples of teamwork is and how successful organizations can be if they put that same strategy into practice.

First I want you to consider this definition: in my experience (about twenty years of it), a team is a group of individuals with similar values who act with a unified purpose to reach a common goal. Think about that for a minute. How does your team compare to this definition or to a sports team? Do they have similar values? Do they act with a unified purpose to reach a common goal? If your answer is no, you don’t have a team. You have employees. There’s a huge difference in having employees who come to work every day and having team members who are committed to performing their role to ensure that the team is successful.

A team has a common goal.

Consider football. Football teams are made up of a group of individuals who value similar things such as physical fitness, competition, sports, and possibly a more lavish lifestyle. They work with unified purpose to make first downs, stop the opposing team, score touchdowns, and win one game at a time to ultimately reach their common goal of winning the Superbowl. If one team member wins, the entire team wins. If one team member loses, the entire team loses. Each individual has their unique talents and strengths. When these individuals are provided with the opportunity to use their talents to get their team to the next win, great things happen!

Too often business owners hire bodies to fill roles. They have a need to get something done within the business and quickly ask for referrals or place ads to fill the need. Now, think about a sports team. They have a clear goal. The goal is to win the Superbowl. They realize in order to win the Superbowl they need the best of the best in many areas. They don’t place ads or ask their friends who they may know. They strategically search and recruit the right people for the right positions to help them achieve success.

Ask yourself these questions: What is the goal of this company? What are the positions we need to fill in order to reach that goal? What are the types of people we need to fill those roles? Where do we find those people? What’s important to them?

It’s really that simple (aside from the obvious budgeting, cash flow projecting, human resources, employee risk and management, and stage of the business). By clearly defining the vision of your company, you’ll have a good picture of the roles and ultimately people you’ll need to help your fill that vision. Once you understand who they are and what’s important to them the scouting and recruiting process can begin.

Imagine if a football team hired every person who wanted to be a quarterback. I would guess that the NFL would quickly become nonexistent. Yet, day in and day out that’s exactly what business owners do to fill positions as they become busier or more frustrated with running certain areas of their business.

Now imagine that you recruited for your business as if you were recruiting to win the Superbowl. You would create a clear chain of hierarchy. After all, you can’t win the Superbowl with a team of quarterbacks. You may need a head coach, someone to coach the offense, another to coach the defense, and yet another to lead the special teams. Every team needs strong leaders. You would definitely want to have a strong quarterback. I’m sure you would fill every position with a clear intent, from the head coach to the water boy, if you knew it meant you could win the Superbowl. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can win the Superbowl of business.

It’s going to take some thought about the vision and core values of your business. It’s also going to mean some planning, preparing, recruiting, delegating, training, and retraining. However, once you have a true team (that group of individuals who have similar values and act with a common purpose to reach a common goal) you can win the Superbowl for your business.