There’s a lot to be learned about teamwork in business from this year’s amazing USA women’s gymnastics team. During an interview with Bob Costas, these five young women hardly talked about themselves at all, instead focusing on how being part of the team encouraged them to perform even better. This is not a driven, grimly serious group.  They smile and laugh and share a massive pile of gold medals.

Gold medalist Simone Biles said her teammates motivated her to excel.  Costas pointed out she is being called the “greatest female gymnast ever,” yet her teammates don’t resent that. Simone explained that they always came together as a team and supported each other no matter what.  Olympian Aly Raisman chimed in that they were a team from start to finish, and Laurie Hernandez said that all five coming together as a team is what made them so dominant individually, and as a team.

In a far more modest athletic experience, I discovered this same truth.  Training for my first triathlon (at age 50) was all about me.  I needed to get out of a depression, work towards my goal, to help me move on from chemo.  But the reason I got hooked on triathlon was the amazing impact of being part of a team, with everyone encouraging others to keep going, do their best, to never give up. It doesn’t matter if you’re first, last, or somewhere in the middle.

Instilling this concept of being stronger as a team can shift the energy in your company. Getting each department to boost everyone’s performance, cooperating for the good of the whole, can achieve almost anything.

Fostering a “team sport mentality” can accelerate employee engagement.  This in turn optimizes collaboration so they join together to find creative solutions. The team mentality can also prevent the building of us-versus-them silos that produce performance-killing competition.

This is not an overnight transformation.  The Olympic gymnasts didn’t train for just a few months.  You can accelerate team performance without taking years.  It requires identifying ineffective processes, empowering teams to solve problems, and consistently driving the team approach.

Uniting employees around the common company good generates outstanding cross-functional effectiveness and promotes a winning mindset. This is how you get your people to excel beyond everyday expectations. Establish team sport mentality and your business can go for the gold.

Contact me today to learn more about “Team Sports Mentality”. I’m happy to speak to your group, conduct a workshop or offer executive coaching.  Call 804-749-4100 or contact me and let’s talk about enhancing your team’s performance.