Back to back Super Bowls for the Seattle Seahawks – how was that ever possible?  Over a month has passed since Super Bowl XLIX.  What exactly makes the Hawks so special?  Perhaps it is our impeccable defense.  Maybe it’s our rookie QB who has managed to set records in his first 3 years.  Some might say that we have the best running back in the NFL.  But the truth is no one player really stands out more than any other.  You can’t win a football game without every single position – offense and defense.

After not speaking to the media all season, Marshawn Lynch answered only one question following the game:  an inquiry about whether he was surprised he didn’t get the chance to score the game-winning touchdown when Seattle had the ball on the Patriots’ 1-yard line. Lynch claimed he wasn’t at a loss and simply said, “This is a team game.”

When it comes to teambuilding, what is most critical is getting everyone to think of themselves as a whole.  It’s about creating a culture that thrives on working together, being the best that you can be.  It’s about the WE.  Pete Carroll’s leadership style of competitiveness — identifying and maximizing the uniqueness of every player and coach, and thriving on a nurturing environment — allows his players to be themselves.  And, most important, it focuses on accountability to the team. This idea of team building can work on any level, including in your own organization.

Build around your leadership recently published an article entitled “5 Things Smart Managers Know About Building Teams.” These are the 5 things that were listed:

  1. Play to individual strengths: Is the employee in the right place so he or she can shine?
  2. Encourage transparency: Talk through issues and make sure team members understand each other.
  3. Establish ground rules: Make sure the team knows your leadership style and know what goals are set.
  4. Let them know you have their back: The team needs to know that they have unconditional support.
  5. Provide an incentive: Everyone enjoys a reward for achieving a goal. Sometimes the reward is achieving the goal itself and being recognized by one’s Manager.  Regardless — communicate what it is.

Successful leaders build productive teams when they understand their people, their strengths and what gets them excited to work with others.  Pete Carroll is a perfect example of this type of leader  —just look at his Win Forever Pyramid. A great leader must know how effective they are and be willing to improve. (Watch this short video to see how we help aspiring leaders in our LEAP program!)

Fit the players together

Team leaders must know their employees well and expect great things.  Leaders must understand what motivates employees and how to get them to believe in going beyond their capabilities.  Make sure each person fits into your organization’s culture — not just whether he or she can do the job but if they can do the job well while being a team player.

It also takes a special eye to see that someone may not be the right “fit” for a certain position but can excel somewhere else doing a different job.  Remember to give feedback and make sure the team is on the right track.  Ensure each person feels included, appreciated, challenged and engaged.

Lastly, it’s important to reward and celebrate as a team.  Reflect on the triumphs and the tribulations —— both of these contribute to team building.

Hold regular “practices”

Along with excellent leadership guidance, basic team building activities can make a huge difference in your organization.  Pete Carroll started to integrate meditation into the program back in 2011.  The players are not required to be there, but a large group shows up at various times to participate.

The entire roster also participates in an optional yoga class.  Everyone enjoyed it so much that it became a mandatory part of workouts.  Carroll’s mantras are positivity of thought, words and actions.  Swearing and yelling are looked down upon.  The idea is that happy players make for better players. (ESPN Magazine)

You can carry this same philosophy to your organization by understanding that happy employees make better employees.  Set the tone for higher levels of trust, sincerity and openness.  Try organizing activities or “team building experiences,”  and have a clear objective with these experiences. When team-building activities are done correctly, they should have an impact on everyone.

Just last year, virtual workspace providers posted an article entitled “13 Top Team Building Activities.” These activities are effective, inexpensive and can be organized without leaving the workplace.

Enjoy the game!

You and your team members should always be looking for better ways to collaborate, communicate and have fun. Above all, enjoy the “game” of making every day as successful and productive as possible — put the WE in your organization today!