Sports teams and organizational teams both need the right culture

Developing a buy-in culture to get the most out of your sports or business team

Bioteam's Guest Article by Dave Cooper

Dave Cooper is a sports consultant, author and lecturer on how to get optimum sports experiences and results. In this article he shares his insight about how to create that all important “buy-in” culture that goes way beyond compliance into deep commitment.

Developing a buy-in culture to get the most out of your sports or business team

Bioteam's Guest Article by Dave Cooper

Dave Cooper is a sports consultant, author and lecturer on how to get optimum sports experiences and results. He has conducted presentations to national conferences, competitive teams and conducts one on one consulting with players. He has coached for over 18 years, and his international experience includes teaching in Canada, the United States and Tahiti.

As I have been fortunate to work with players, coaches and teams from peewee to pro, I’m always looking for ways to assist to them understand leadership and team building skills in a way that will help them both on and off the playing field.

What I wanted to share with you in this article are my experiences on the key components necessary to build a supportive team culture for players or teammates to help them achieve both their team and their personal goals.

I believe there are a lot we can ‘lift’ from sports teams to business teams (and vice versa) – the 7 Beliefs of High Performing Teams apply in both cases as far as I can see.

So from my experience here’s my 7 vital ingredients needed to create a winning team culture:

1. It’s got to be personal

The leader (Coach) is connected personally to the goal by wanting to become better themselves through achieving the goal. This creates an authentic energy to want to jump on-board and be a part of something special.

2. Outcome clarity

The leader is clear on what it takes to attempt to achieve the goal and that failure is possible, BUT that if all players “Bring It” on a regular basis they will have done all they can do and will feel a sense of pride regardless of the outcome.

3. Plan to play to team strengths

The leader wants to spread the credit by developing the leadership capabilities of all their players and they do this by identifying proper roles and strengths through both their physical skill sets and attitudinal strengths.

4. Fail forward

The leader has coached what a “good mistake” looks like. A good mistake is a mistake that will keep us moving toward our target but because we may not know how to master a particular skill yet, mistakes are certain, but they will be seen as part of the process.

5. Make the tough calls too

The leader stays connected to his team by making the “right” decisions not just the “popular or easy” decisions. When teammates see their leaders have struggled with the tough decisions, but have done the right thing, then these players will be willing to go the distance for them.

6. Encourage and stretch

Finally the leader regularly recognizes great effort, performance and results and also “positively challenges” sub-par performances.

7. Put it all together

If you can put all these together then you will CONNECT players to the team by showing that they MATTER, that their skills are IMPORTANT to the team achieving its goals and that EACH player’s contribution will be NEEDED for the TEAM to SUCCEED!

Dave Cooper, ML Sports Management

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Yes, I agree and have posted similar articles on the business lessons from a couple of American teams based in New England; the Patriots (American football), the Red Sox (baseball), and the Revolution (soccer).


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