Hallelujah! The Washington Nationals won game seven of the World Series to become world champs. This is a huge deal for Washington sports fans and their story should resonate for all of us in the meetings industry as we are dependent on our teams to successfully execute our events.
As I listened to the players, coaches, owners, managers and even fans celebrate and rejoice in their hard-won victory I was struck by the number of times I heard appreciation for “this group of guys.” They had a rough start to the season and virtually no one predicted they’d make it to the playoffs much less the World Series. However, they believed in themselves, understood their mission and goal, played to their strengths, displayed wisdom and experience and celebrated success with energy and enthusiasm. And they failed, over and over again. It wasn’t clean and it wasn’t easy — which makes their ultimate victory that much sweeter.
The lesson for us is that teams need to be coached, supported and encouraged. Too many organizations today simply designate a team of individuals to work together without support or coaching. A toxic or dysfunctional workplace culture can stifle teamwork and kill the mojo a great team needs to succeed against the odds. In the case of the Nationals, the entire organization rose to the task at hand from the front office to the ball field. This team believed in themselves and overcame all the obstacles including loss of a former star player (which turned out to be good thing), injuries, mistakes, and some bad luck. But they overcame adversity and thrived.
In my career I’ve worked in and led a lot of teams but the ones that are most memorable and whose efforts were truly remarkable were the ones that had clear goals, a sense of purpose, understood their individual roles, but were able to step outside of those roles to support one another. Good work can be accomplished through good effort and on individual merits but great work is far rarer and requires leadership, talent and a selfless quality that belies individual recognition.
I wonder how much better our events would be if we spent more time coaching, supporting and nurturing team members and rewarding collective work alongside our MVPs?
Photo credit to Chattanooga Times Free Press
Have you seen teams thrive or fail in your organization? Is there a culture issue? What are the elements that can make an events team soar?