Sunday, January 1, 2012


One is your competition. If your product line can’t compete, you’re in big trouble—whether your rivals are Toyota and Honda or the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.

The second is public perception, as shaped by the media. If you’re always seen in a negative light, your groups morale will likely go under—along with your performance.

The third factor? Division from within—and this is the greatest threat, hands down. When your team is united, it can ward off any flak from negative perceptions; it won’t make any difference what outsiders think. And when your team is working together, your competition will have fewer weaknesses to exploit.

But a team divided against itself can break down at any moment. The least bit of pressure or adversity will crack it apart.

The first task of leadership is to promote—and enforce—collective loyalty, also known as teamwork.

Everyone thinks they know what teamwork means, but very few people really understand it. To begin with, you need to ask: What kind of team do we want?

In my line of work, teamwork is all-important. Every player, from the starting quarterback to the special teams rookie, is interdependent. We have this sign up in our locker room: “Individuals play the game, but teams win championships.”

You could place the same sign inside any company in this country.

We were lucky in New York. Our top players—Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Mark Bavaro, Carl Banks, Harry Carson—were all team-first. The only thing they were “selfish” about was winning. When your great players are team players, everybody else falls in line.

From "Finding A Way To Win" by Bill Parcells