Lessons from the Superstars of the Super Bowl

superbowl 2014Yesterday was one of America’s most beloved “holiday” – Super Bowl Sunday! Living in Seattle, you can guess which team I was rooting for.

However, I’m also a huge Peyton Manning fan and have always liked the Broncos. Let me say, it’s been really fun living in a city with a winning football team – I’ve spent the majority of my life living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area so you know where I’m coming from … 18 years is a really long dry spell! But I digress. What I really want to write about is this.

Clearly, if you are part of either team playing in the Super Bowl, you are part of a winning team. Competing in the Super Bowl raises the level of play because it’s the best of the best. It’s thrilling to watch athletes at the top of their game. Being at the top of your game is something most of us aspire to, so I thought it was worth a bit of analysis to see what we could learn from these amazing teams.

Here are my observations and personal lessons worth noting:

  • Talent Matters – when you have a team of strong performers, the chances are better that the whole team will be very productive and be recognized for their high quality of work. So recognize talent early and surround yourself with team members more talented than yourself. Believe me, they will make YOU LOOK LIKE A GENIUS.
  • Environment Matters – when you have strong talent, you want to keep them. A key retention strategy is creating a positive environment that allows that talent to thrive. For a team leader, that means loosening the reigns of control and encouraging your “players” to leverage their skills and abilities in a way that lets them shine. Work hard and HAVE FUN! When people are happy and having fun, productivity skyrockets!
  • Development Matters – while you may have a tremendously talented team, if they are not continuously growing and developing, their skills grow stale and those superstars are no longer so super. Giving your team stretch assignments and constantly challenging them to go even more above and beyond, you begin to bring out the best in them. Healthy competition is great for raising the level of performance and keeps your best people engaged. It’s a snowball effect – the better they get, they escalate the expectations and serve as role models for others on the team and guess what? Everyone’s contribution is raised a notch.

So let me ask: Are you doing your part to foster your team being recognized as the best of the best in your organization? Take some time to ponder. What can you can do to make an impact on the talent, environment or development efforts of your team?

Image Credit

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at mduesterhoft@www.people-results.com.