When I think about the measure of success as a team, there are many things that come to mind. Of course, success is measured many times in wins versus losses. Championships may be another way that some measure success. However, success as a team runs much deeper than measuring wins, losses and championships. Don’t get me wrong, I love to win! I am a very, very competitive person that wants to win no matter if I am playing checkers or coaching a ball team. In this entry though, I want to just share a few things that many times get lost in the shuffle of wins/loss records. I want to take a moment and share a few things that I believe define real success.
I think one of the first things that defines success as a team is chemistry. Team chemistry teaches young people so much about life. Our young people who participate in team sports, band, scholars bowl or any other team, must learn the value of team chemistry in order to be successful. The concept of team chemistry will teach valuable lessons that will carry them through life into their jobs, their churches and most important their families. What is team chemistry? I would define it as the ability to come together, setting aside the individual goals while working together for the greater good and success of the team or organization that you represent. Without team chemistry you might have success for a short-term, but remember life is not a sprint – it is a marathon. Long term success is and should be the desire of any team, organization and yes, most importantly the family.
Secondly, if you are part of the team you should strive to make yourself better, but also you should have a drive to make those around you successful. Remember, a team is not about individuals, but it is about a group of individuals driving toward a common goal to continually improve and be successful. You make others better through encouragement, picking your teammate up when they make a mistake and moving on, but also holding each other accountable to always give 100% no matter if it is a team sport or a debate team.
Thirdly and finally, success is always defined by effort and the desire to get better. Whether you win or lose, you must ask yourself, “Did I give my best effort and did I improve in some area?”. Again, these two things carry on through life. No matter what “team or teams” you are a part of throughout life, you will often be defined by effort and the drive to always get better. Martin Luther King, Jr had this to say about giving effort, “If a man is called to be a street sweep, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well’. After all, the drive for us to give our best effort is actually a biblical concept as expressed by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Make team chemistry a priority, push your teammates to always get better and cultivate a drive to always give your best effort in everything. These things will make you a winner and more importantly a success!