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5 Drivers of Team Success

#6seconds #change #drivers #eqfit #execution #motivation #success #teamwork #trust Jul 31, 2023

It was the last inning and we were down by 2 runs. It had been a long hot summer in the softball league. We had a very good year and made it to the finals. The finals came after having to win 3 previous games that day. We were tired but excited that we had the chance to take home the first place trophy. Here is the challenge. The top of the inning saw one of our key players lost to an injury. we were down to 9 players in a 10 player game. Fortunately we were at bat. The bottom of the last inning started well with a single by our lead off hitter. Then it went badly for us. The next 2 players made outs. That is when our best hitter came to the plate...and he came through with a double, but that still left a man on second and third base, and we were still 2 runs down.

Here is what I have not told you. My son stopped by to see the game. He was on our roster but never really played. I just wanted him on the team. He is not what you would call the most athletic person. He is a big kid, not very fast, but such a great sense of humor. We needed him to fill in because we had to have a minimum of 9 players or forfeit. With the game on the line, guess who came up to bat? You guessed it, my son. This is when some very interesting team dynamics came to light. The other team started to make fun of him. Then the first pitch came and he missed it by so much the other team started to laugh and congratulate themselves on the win. The second pitch was a little better, but ended up with him hitting a weak foul ball. 2 strikes, no balls, and things were looking dismal.

I was the guy on third base. I called a time out and started walking toward my son. I wanted him to know that no matter the outcome I was proud of him. I pulled him aside and told him that whatever happens I was thankful he was on the team. Then I looked around and noticed several of our team members had joined us. It was one of those moments that transcended and became something much more important than the circumstances. It was a defining moment for our team. We gathered around one of our players (my son) and gave him the encouragement and confidence to not be afraid. We were going to support him and accept him no matter what the final outcome was. I could see the confidence grow in him.

We all returned to our positions and he returned to the plate. The other team continued their harassment and jibes. You can probably guess how anxious I was for him. Probably a Dad thing. When I looked back at my son his whole demeanor had changed. He was determined, focused, and even a little angry at how he was being discounted and made fun of. As the final pitch came in, I actually closed my eyes. Then I head a sound I never expected to hear...the sound of a bat solidly impacting with the ball. If you have ever played baseball or softball, you know there are different sounds of a bat hitting a ball. This sounded crushed. I opened my eyes and looked around. I picked up the flight of the ball as it was about mid center field and the ball was still rising! I was so shocked I just stood there watching the ball continue to climb. It was still going up as it passed the center field fence! That is when I noticed the runner on second base in front of me trying to get my attention. He was about 3 feet away yelling at me to get off third base and score. Well, we won the game with a walk off home run in the bottom of the last inning. Of all people, my son, the least likely, least athletic, least skilled in the game had delivered the win.

This was one of those moments in life that you never forget. And yes, this is a true story.

Team vitality

There are 5 drivers of team success: Trust, Motivation, Change, Execution, and Teamwork. Instead of using all of the psychometric terms to describe these, I want to use the true story above to focus on these.

  • Trust - our team trusted each other and we cultivated trust to encourage each team member. From the most skilled to the least, everyone was trusted and practiced trust. Even when we were down, and things looked unwinnable, we practiced trust. Trust is the glue that holds teams together whatever the circumstances.
  • Motivation - our team encouraged each other and picked up the slack when another team member fell short. This accelerated the motivational impact. We were open and honest but not blaming or complaining. We had a "we disposition" instead of a "me disposition".
  • Change - in the face of change and challenge, we adapted. We were resilient, dealing with whatever reality we were facing. This helped us to be more agile and less dependent on fixed approaches or solutions.
  • Execution - we took personal ownership of our efforts and followed through. We knew what our role was and we executed to the best of our abilities. There were more talented teams than ours, but there was no better team when it came to playing together as a team and executing.
  • Teamwork - our team never relied on just one captain or leader. Each of us were leaders, we led ourselves and we influenced the other team members. We knew that to win consistently, we would have to play as a team. We practiced and played hard but we did it as a team. We shared skills and learning so every team member could improve.

You can start to see how these 5 drivers of team success can be applied to any team. It is also a good place to start to assess team effectiveness.

Team assessments

Today, we have very good team assessments that can measure these critical success drivers. It can also measure important outcomes. Here is the model I use:

Team Vital Signs - Six Seconds

There is so much data here that we can't review it all but here is a link to a video that walks you through this valuable assessment: Team Vital Signs


How do you measure team performance and vitality today?

Do you have developmental KPIs for your teams?

What could you do with this type of information?

As you can see in the TVS Dashboard above, this team is not doing well. Now we have valuable data to tell us why and to do what is needed to help this team become a high performing team. This TVS assessment provides deep insight, real clarity, and a clear path forward. Even better, we can take these measures periodically to track improvement, make adjustments, and move teams to the next level of performance. Assess - Equip - Align...then Succeed!



For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].

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