Perhaps you have heard of “March Madness.” It’s all about elite collegiate basketball. Who will win? The team that plays best as a team. That means thinking as a team player, moving as a team player, breathing as a team player.
Business has a lot to learn from elite team sports. How many businesses play like an elite team? So many organizations, companies, and businesses seriously sabotage their success, not to mention their employee satisfaction, by being divided against themselves.
Consider these all too familiar scenarios. The land of “go” clashes with the land of “no,” or the world of “slow.” Or how about the focus on “me” obliterates the performance of “we.” Competing with your teammates is an oxymoron. But it happens everyday in thousands of companies all across hundreds of industries. How could acting in such a nonsensical manner become so prevalent?
There are two key reasons behind biz madness. The first key is company mission coupled with leadership. The very bedrock of any business is its motto, its mission. And operationalizing this mission is the role of the company leadership. These must be in highest alignment for the c-suite to indeed be sweet. Fact is, so often there is a serious lack of alignment between those leading the company and the core mission set forth by the founders. How does this happen? It is like an instrument badly out of tune, yet no one is hearing the off notes.
This leads us to the second key reason contributing to biz madness. The role of the ego. In our two March “Chai Chat” radio shows, my co-host Mary Rauchenstein, and I will be taking a deep dive in examining and explaining this complex and fascinating phenomenon. Suffice it to say that the ego can obliterate broader vision, sabotage higher service, and make one blind to company mission. When “me” overshadows “We,” a downward spiral ensues for the company as well as for its employees. Hear what author and speaker Tim Sanders has to say about this dangerous detour in our February 9th “Chai Chat” show. (Better yet, order his new book on this topic, Dealstorming.)
“March Madness” is a good time to reflect on how your work team functions within your company. Take a close and honest look at whether your leaders are in good alignment with the company mission. And take a close and honest look at whether you play as “me” or “we.”
Biz madness is playing solo in a team uniform.