The team with the most talent doesn’t always win. I’m not a huge NBA fan, but we can look there for proof. This year in the first 12 games of the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the best player in the world, Lebron James, won only 5 games and lost 7.
Lebron’s supporting cast includes all-stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving which made it even more perplexing as to how they could be a sub .500 team. However, because they were playing together for the first time this season, they were missing a key “X Factor” that can transform a team from good to exceptional:
Lebron was quoted: “… a lot of teams are just better than us as far as chemistry, as far as the camaraderie they have over the years, and we don’t have that.” James also cited “trust” as a major area in which the Cavs must improve. Since that start the Cavaliers have gone to work getting to know their new teammates both on and off the court. It is clearly paying off as they have now won 11 of the last 14 games and sit at a far more respectable 16-10.
Locally, our high school hockey team takes team chemistry very seriously. Each Wednesday evening they meet at a player’s house without coaches to get to know each other better. They also invite a speaker to talk about leadership and personal development. They are currently undefeated this year.
High performing teams understand the importance of being intentional about building chemistry. They know that focus in this area can be the difference maker in the level of success they achieve. There are a few key things a leader needs to focus on to build chemistry within a team, which can accelerate their performance in achieving their purpose and vision.
- See how much you can learn about the members of your team – their past, their present and their dreams for the future.
- Celebrate accomplishments along the way – big and small. These can be personal or professional in nature, individual or team. Just make it authentic and frequent.
- Express gratitude and appreciation freely – A “thank you” goes a long way. Say it to individuals and the entire team… often!
- Constantly look for ways to serve others on the team – Think others first, and show your fellow teammates by assisting them whenever you can.
- Never stop looking for ways to do life together – That’s the essence of community. It’s not about me; it’s about we.
- Be patient – If you stay the course and continue to make “deposits,” chemistry will grow deeper and deeper over time. It is cumulative.
Team chemistry will enhance performance in any area of life. Whether it is in your family, in athletics, in the business world, or other organization, a team with a high level of chemistry will normally perform at a higher level than teams that don’t have it. The good news is that with some intention you can build a high level of chemistry within your team.
What are you doing to increase your team’s chemistry?
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. Luke 10:38