What Makes a Great Team

About a month ago, I watched a video about the San Antonio Spur’s philosophy. Please take a few minutes and watch it from a leadership perspective, rather than a sports perspective.


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That’s a cool video, but now what?

There is one thing that I would like you to take away from this video — a Team First Mentality. I know, that is a lofty topic coming out of a sports video, but here it goes.

Team First Mentality: When a player can put their trust in the team and decide to put the team’s goals over their own, great things happen (most of the time). Why only most of the time? Because it takes hard work, perseverance, and feedback to get all the way there. Your responsibility as a leader is to ensure your teams get all the way there. Here are a few ideas to help you:
  • Each and every person on the team has to understand the direction, buy into that direction, and be 100% committed to that direction.
  • Everyone must believe in the direction and each other which involves a lot of trust.
  • Each teammate must act unselfishly by helping others succeed (the team’s goals before personal goals).
  • When a teammate is not meeting expectations (either with performance or putting themselves first), you must provide delta or corrective feedback.
  • When a teammate is meeting or exceeding expectations give them plus/positive feedback (celebrate). 
As the leader, you set the tone. The team will follow your lead (with words and actions).  
  • Great examples of this from the video are:
    • Tim Duncan requesting Gregg Popovich coach him just like every other player
    • Tim Duncan pulling Tony Parker away from another player and the referee 
A leader’s job is to spend time with SAM and GRAD:
Setting Direction
Aligning Resources

Goal setting
Regular feedback
Accountability and Measurement

Whether you are leading a small team or a big team, if you are the primary leader or are a supporting leader; leverage SAM/GRAD and your team will be more successful.

Remember One Interstates, One Service; and lead the Interstates Way!!


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