Why Teams Win 9 Keys to Success in Business Sport and Beyond Research Proposal

Pages: 10 (2680 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

¶ … Teams Win: 9 Keys to Success in Business, Sports, and Beyond

In Why Teams Win, performance psychologist Dr. Saul Miller details the essential characteristics of winning organizations. Dr. Miller's ideas are the result of his unanticipated realization that the necessary components of winning sports teams are identical in principle to those required for organizational success in professional business. The book provides an outline of the nine essential qualities of winning organizations and includes systematic instructions for applying them to personal performance, organizational performance, and to team performance in virtually any type of collaborative venture or enterprise.

According to Miller, generally, the first necessary quality of a winning organization or entity is a clear sense of purpose that contextualizes long-term goals in a way that gives them meaning to the team members. Second, winning requires a minimum necessary talent of the individual team members. Third, wining requires leadership. Fourth, winning requires a game plan or strategy for achieving the goals defined by the first quality. Fifth, winning requires commitment; sixth, it requires feedback mechanisms; seventh, it requires a minimum amount of confidence; eighth, it requires chemistry among individual team members; and ninth, it requires a specific identity shared by team members.

Chapter 1 -- A Sense of Purpose: A Meaningful Goal

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The first chapter establishes that in virtually every conceivable human endeavor, success is extremely difficult to achieve without a clear sense of purpose. That is equally true of team collaboration situations and of individual achievements; it also applies to both a long-term strategic perspective as well as to shorter-term operational steps necessary to achieve the long-term strategic goals.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Why Teams Win 9 Keys to Success in Business Sport and Beyond Assignment

In addition to helping to establish a positive psychological approach and the mindset necessary for success, a shared sense of team purpose toward the achievement of goals is also essential from an operational perspective because the strategic vision necessarily establishes the specific methods of pursuing those shared goals. More importantly, the sense-of-purpose concept also applies to the level of defining all of the smaller component individual operational decisions, policies, and procedures the organization implements toward the long-term goals articulated in its shared purpose or goal-oriented visions.

Chapter 2 -- Talent

According to the author, there are distinct aspects of the issue of individual talent with respect to the success of teams and organizations. First, there is a minimum amount of talent necessary for individual team members to be able to help the organization. While the combine talents of many talented individuals can often counterbalance the detrimental effect of the inclusion of a small number of insufficiently talented members, doing so always comes at the expense of the organization and the other team members. This is precisely why professional sports franchises and athletic leagues focus so much on the draft process and why professional business organizations continually work to improve their recruitment processes.

Second, to a certain extent, the specific requirements of talents of individuals coming into an existing organization depend on the breakdown of existing talents. However, ideally, sports organizations and professional businesses alike function better and are more likely to achieve their goals when there is a general uniformity or homogeneity of talent at the individual level than when teams feature the same average amount of talent but with much greater differentials at the high and low ends. Ideally, whether in sports or in professional business, it is much more difficult to achieve long-term competitive goals when there are great differences in the natural talents of individual team members and where more talented individuals must overcompensate in their performance to make up for less talented team members.

Third, the significance of talent raises another crucial issue: namely leadership to recognize the specific talents the organization needs to acquire; and leadership to recognize, cultivate, and develop to the maximum the available talents of individual team members. In fact, talent and leadership are often interrelated in a subtle manner that is substantially dictated by issues in the realm of the relative talent levels of team members. Chapter 3 -- Leadership

Whether in sports or in professional business, talent is not necessarily synonymous with leadership; not all highly talented individual team members are necessarily good choices to lead their respective teams. In that regard, one of the common problems exacerbated by lack of talent uniformity is the natural inclination to rely on the most talented individual to provide team leadership, largely irrespective of his or her specific talents (or lack of talents) in leadership. Conversely, within teams featuring greater talent homogeneity, leadership emerges more naturally and as a function of leadership qualities and talents rather than merely by default to those who are most talented in terms of individual performance.

The author presents leadership as the single most important function necessary for the success of organizations. That is largely a function of the fact that leaders play crucial roles in virtually every other essential aspect of team performance and development. Leaders play a role in defining and disseminating the long-term strategic goals of the team; they help bring out the individual talents of their team members; they help outline a game plan; they are a natural source of motivation, they elevate the commitment of other team members through the examples they set; they provide feedback on performance; they inspire confidence; they help maximize team chemistry; and they help the team define and establish a team identity.

Chapter 4 -- The Game Plan

The chapter on game plans may suffer the most from the excessive reliance of sports analogies, simply because there are so many more varied types of games within any complex business venture than in sports. In sports, game plans differ from game to game as a function of one-dimensional elements. Meanwhile, there is always a tremendous degree of similarity between all of the individual games played by a team in any single sport.

There are so many different and unrelated types of games comprised within a strategic plan in business that the sports analogies can become stretched beyond their point of elasticity. By way of simple illustration, within the most general framework of "winning" at the end of a season or business cycle, the realm of business concepts that must be accounted for within a comprehensive game plan would be better represented by a sports team that completed in multiple different sports within the same season and where success was determined by the team's combined performance in all sports rather than just in one sport. Likewise, the myriad complexities of the component tasks and responsibilities and their interrelationship within business organizations is incapable of being accurately depicted by examples derived from the performance of sports teams.

Nevertheless, in principle, both sports franchises and business organizations and sports teams and business units require effective game plans to achieve their strategic goals and long-term objectives. In both realms, short-sightedness and the inability to recognize and effectively communicate specific needs for short-term success to team members is a recipe for failure.

Chapter 5 -- Commitment

Commitment is a concept better suited to sports analogies for non-sports-related applications. The author draws parallels between the types of sacrifices required at the level of individual players and employees as well as at the level of collective commitment to do whatever is necessary to ensure the successful attainment of the team's long-term goals. The analogies about playing with pain, putting in the practice time necessary to improve performance, and to making the success of the team a priority in life for individual team members translates directly to the realm of professional business and the sacrifices typically required of key employees to ensure organizational success at the strategic level.

Similarly, just as commitment of individual team members grows best within a climate of leadership by example in sports, commitment within business organizations also requires "buy-in" to the strategic vision on the part of individual employees. In that regard, coaches who demonstrate commitment and a conscientious personal effort beget players willing to emulate that approach on a personal level. Within business organizations, the individual commitment level of employees is best promoted and cultivated within a larger and more general corporate culture that emphasizes, recognizes, and rewards personal commitment to the success of the organization.

Conversely, coaches and professional managers who do not demonstrate commitment through their example and organizations that lack a corporate culture that defines and encourages individual commitment beget employees who are content with doing their fair share. In that regard, the author suggests that one phrase never heard within winning organizations but frequently heard within losing organizations is "that isn't my job." On winning teams, the commitment of individuals includes their specific responsibilities as well as contributing in any way possible that becomes necessary for the success of the team.

Chapter 6 -- Feedback

A working feedback loop is another element of the author's principles that translates well from the world of sports to the world of professional business. In many respects, this quality of successful organizations (much like leadership) relates to and touches on other… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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