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Sunday, January 5, 2014


Victory is produced by and belongs to all.

Likewise, failure belongs to everyone.  If you or a member of your team "drops the ball," everyone has ownership.  This is an essential lesson I taught the San Francisco organization: The offensive team is not country unto itself, nor is the defensive team or the special teams, staff, coaches, or anyone in the organization separate from the fate of the organization.  We are united and fight as one; we win or lose as one.

Leaders sometimes wonder why they or their organization fail to achieve success, never seem to reach their potential.  It's often because they don't understand or can't instill the concept of what a team is all about at its best: connection and extension.  This is a fundamental ingredient of ongoing organizational achievement.

Combat soldiers talk about whom they will did for.  Who is it?  It's those guys right next to them in the trench, not the fight song, the flag or some general back at the Pentagon, but those guys who sacrifice and bleed right next to them.  "Couldn't let my buddies down," is what all soldiers say.  Somebody they had never seen before they joined the army or marines become someone they would die for.  That's the ultimate connection and extension.

The leader's job is facilitate a battlefield-like sense of camaraderie among his or her personnel, an environment for people to find a way to bond together, to care about one another and the work they do, to feel the connection and extension for great results.  Ultimately, it's the strongest bond of all, even stronger than money.

From, "The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Bill Walsh