The chemistry of a sports team is usually great when things are going right. However, a team’s true colors show when adversity strikes. Injuries, losses and other setbacks can lead to frustration and in-fighting if not handled properly. If the team’s leadership (head coach) has not established a clear vision for success and a culture to support it, setbacks like those mentioned above may become too difficult to overcome.

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn is facing a tremendous challenge in getting his team to maintain a winning attitude after they lost the Super Bowl in historic fashion. How “bought in” are the players to Coach Quinn’s vision? We’ll see if his approach and the team’s chemistry/culture are enough to rebound next season. Quinn discussed these challenges in a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article (Quinn tries to get past loss).

Take a look at several great sports leaders who were able to build a winner and enjoy sustainable success:

John Wooden (former UCLA head men’s basketball coach) won 10 college basketball national championships in a 12-year period. He established a vision for his program and teams that was based upon a Pyramid of Success. Everything he did tied back to that.

Nick Saban (current Alabama head football coach), winner of 5 college football national championships, has a process he expects all of his coaches and players to adopt and follow. In simplest terms, it is to focus on what is directly in front of you at that moment and conquer it and not look ahead.

These same concepts apply to you and your organization. You need to be clear about what success looks like and how you are going to get there, and your employees need to believe in what you are doing and buy in to what you are building. They also need to feel your passion and gel with one another.

So stop and consider…

  • What are you doing to articulate your vision and establish your desired culture?
  • Are you prepared to handle adversity when it arises?
  • How will the team respond to you, the situation and to one another when adversity strikes?

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