“I BELIEVE that we will win” (The Law of Victory)

“LEADERS find a way for the TEAM to win” – John Maxwell

Most people prefer to win rather than lose.  For any given leadership situation, a multitude of variables teeter the balance that influences whether a team wins or loses.  Leaders that win often tend not to accept defeat as an option so they find ways to win rather than lose.  The litmus test for a leader is found in a crisis — when the pressure is on.  When under pressure, great leaders find a way for the team to win.

Great leaders understand that they are responsible for leading the team to victory.  Great leaders shoulder the blame when things go wrong and do not seek out others to blame.  Great leaders leverage their passion for the objective and their unwillingness to accept defeat to foster creative thinking among their team to identify solutions that allow the team to win.

Attaining victory hinges on three major components.  First, a unity of vision among the team members is vital.  The leader is responsible for creating and communicating the team’s goals, objectives and vision.  Without a common vision, team members form their personal agendas and contribute from that perspective.  Despite the exceptional talent and potential of individual contributors, a team without a common direction or vision rarely wins.  I have said many times in the past that I prefer a team of above average performers with a common vision and good attitude to a team of star performers without a common vision and poor attitudes.

“You’ve got to have great athletes to win.  I don’t care who the coach is.  You can’t win without good athletes, but you can lose with them.  This is where coaching makes the difference” – Lou Holtz

Second, the team members exhibit a diversity of skills.  Some team members contribute vital skills while others contribute less vital skills but in most cases a variety of skills are necessary for teams to be successful.  A key leadership quality is the ability to staff the team with a diversity of skills.  Another key leadership trait is to appreciate and value every contribution whether from a great, average, or even a below average team member.  We can’t all be alike and we don’t need a dozen “mini-me’s”.  Most people are comfortable with like-minded people.  However, a leader must develop comfortable relationships with others that think differently.  The combination of ideas from a variety of perspectives normally leads to much better solutions.

“If two people always agree one of them is unnecessary” – Winston Churchill

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” ~ Gen. George S. Patton (US Army)

Third, the team needs a leader dedicated to victory and willing to mentor and guide team members to their full potential.  Developing a vision and creating a unity among team members to work towards the vision does not happen by accident.  The leader is responsible for molding the vision and communicating in such a way to create unity and produce results.  A true leader looks for ways to make it work, not make excuses for why it doesn’t.  A true leader motivates, empowers, and provides the direction for the team to win.

“The signs of outstanding leadership appear primarily among the followers. Are the followers reaching their potential? Are they learning? Serving? Do they achieve the required results? Do they change with grace? Manage conflict?” – Max De Pree

As a leader, your responsibility for success must be a personal commitment to the task at hand.  The leader needs to display unquestioned passion and dedication to the team’s success.  If unable to meet those leadership goals, one must seek answers to ask some critical questions. 1.) Am I pursuing the correct vision?  2.) Am I in the wrong organization? 3.) Am I the right leader for this team or organization?

H5H Action Step:

Lead The Way!