Team vs. Company

October 17, 2007

I am one of “those guys” that has a strong emotional attachment to the teams I follow in sports. It doesn’t matter if they are the tops in the league or the bottom of the barrel which is typically the case for my NFL team The Detroit Lions. I find myself anxiously looking forward to each and every game and letting the outcome of the game affect my feelings for some time after the game. If they win, I am on cloud nine, and conversely, if they perform less than what I expect and lose, it is wise to stay away from me for a bit until I get over it.

I am getting better as the years go by and I can now look back and see how silly I used to act, and to a certain point, how I still react. It isn’t like I have the ability to affect the outcome of the game, or that they can hear me screaming at the TV screen telling them to make the play! Yet I still do it. Thankfully I know I am not the only person in the world with this “disorder” or my wife would have me locked up.

I’ve often wondered why I get so passionate about the success of my teams and find it very difficult to pinpoint the answer. I also wonder what would happen if the millions of people with this “disorder” refocused this passion toward the company they are a part of? It would be amazing if every company out there was full of people that sprung out of bed in the morning excited to speed down the highway to work and see what they could do to contribute to the success of their company! I am certain it would be extremely annoying to the “normal” people who dreaded work each day. You know who I am talking about. The people who work harder at skating through the day and put zero focus on making the company a better place.

This is kind of crazy if you look at it logically. Take a second to look at the rewards generated from your team winning the “big game” or upsetting the defending champion. You’ll soon realize you feel great for a very short period of time and then it goes away. All this passion exerted on something that will give you a few hours, days, or weeks of “high spirits” which you absolutely know will come to a very abrupt ending.

Imagine if you were able to fall in love with the company you are working with …

You’d find every day exciting because the effort you put forth would result in a stronger more prosperous company. You’d also find the people around you that are typically whining and complaining and skating by would be so disgusted at your excitement and passion, they wouldn’t hang around and would soon be seeking more people with the same frame of mind as them. The “borderline positive” people would be attracted to you and soon that group would outnumber the negative people. Imagine a company full of like minded, passionate people working together towards the success of their company…

The rewards would be limitless!

I believe there is a way to accomplish this. It is really simple actually. The company needs to be viewed as a team where the contributions of each and every member of the team are very important and valued by the leadership within the company. Leaders need to put ego aside and realize without the efforts of each person in the company, there is no way it will be successful.

I challenge you to “reinvent” your company culture and focus on building a strong team instead of a strong company. You’ll soon see a passion like you’ve never imagined. You’ll soon have people coming to you excitedly with new ideas which will help the company get on a fast track to success. I guarantee you it will be the most amazing experience you’ve ever had. You will also find that the “high spirits” will hang around much longer than a victory from your favorite team.


2 Responses to “Team vs. Company”

  1. rolipdl Says:

    I agree with you, it would be incredibly good if companies start implementing changes towards a team minded operation, but the reality is that the competion takes place inside the company itself, is like somehow everybody is trying to emphasize the differences between the differents areas, like sales people often think their the most important, and administration think the same, and managers think the same, etc…
    So in the end that’s where the problem is, I’ve seen a lack of integration within the corporate world, everybody defends their own colors and don’t realize their defending none as a company.
    It’s good to see more people like you who realize the importance of the building spirit of a team within a company, congratulations!.

  2. Pete Brand Says:

    Thanks! I believe the reason people are all about defending their “own colors” is because the lack of the team atmosphere within the company. I believe everybody deep down wants to be a part of something they can be passionate about. If the company is run in such a way where their contribution is valued, things can change.

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