5 Things the Spurs Can Teach Us About Successful Teams in Business

As of Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs have become NBA Champions for the fifth time! After facing a devastating loss to the Miami Heat during last year’s finals, the Spurs came back with a vengeance and were in it for the kill. Other than a drive for redemption, the Spurs had something special this year. Perhaps, it was a methodology that the Heat just weren’t prepared for. Besides their amazing skills on the court, the Spurs are able to champion many characteristics that a lot of companies are surprisingly lacking. In order to turn your organization into a well-oiled machine like the Spurs, you’ve got to take a few notes from Pop’s playbook.

Individual Performance is Important

Yes, but team performance will always triumph.

One thing that the Spurs do best is that they value team play over individual accolade. Notice that the Spurs aren’t Gatorade or Nike athletes because they sell themselves as a team, not as an individual. Basketball is a team sport, after all. Just like with the Spurs, your organization must work as a team because each and every player plays a key role in operations. Each department should be as important as the other, just like how a shooting guard is as important as the center or point guard. A team can accomplish more than any individual can. Do you believe that your organizational structure is team or individual performance based?

Trust Your Peers

How can Ginobili score if Parker weren’t there to create the opportunity for him to sink a basket?

Trust is essential to any team or company. You have to trust the graphic designer to create a logo in time for you to build a website similarly to how the Spurs trust Duncan to get the rebound or for Ginobili to drop a three when it’s crucial. Without trust, there are unwanted boundaries that can hinder the productivity and work of any organization. When you don’t trust your peers and only yourself, you take on a lot of burden that could easily be spread amongst your coworkers. You take on work that can be done by someone else if you trusted his or her ability to do so. Instead, you do all of the work, which would only create mediocre outcomes due to thinly spread efforts. Can you say that you trust your coworkers?

Have a Strong Coach

There’s a reason why everyone tunes into Pop’s post-game interviews – no team is complete without a strong coach.

A team is nothing without its coach. Where would the Spurs be without Pop? A coach, manager, CEO, etc. is the focus of a team. The coach is the one who delegates what the play will be, what values should matter most, and what goal to set your sights on. Pop calls the shots and the Spurs follow, but not because they technically have to, but because it pays to listen. Popovich has developed a familial culture within the Spurs. You may notice that Pop rarely smiles, but you know there’s love behind his stern façade. His mix of grumpiness and love make him a “grandfatherly” leader. He shows great concern for his players, and the team realizes that. They in turn want to play better for him and for each other. Are your coaching tactics “grandfatherly” or stern and cold?

Patience

Turning failures into successes takes patience and optimism.

Have patience. Nothing comes immediately. After losing in last year’s finals in game seven, it took a lot of patience, drive, and optimism in order for the Spurs to make a strong comeback. It all takes time and a positive attitude. It takes time for a company to build its clientele and revenue. It took time for the Spurs to build a legacy. Patience is key in everything because nothing comes easy. Work hard, stay true to your ethics and values, remain optimistic and all good things will come naturally. What are you determined to make your next success?

Live in the moment and have fun!

Don’t forget to let loose a little and enjoy the moment you’re in. Do not dwell on the past or worry about the future. The Spurs take a loss or win, learn from it, and then prepare for the next game. You can always see the Spurs players goofing off with one another on the bench and off the court. When you enjoy the game, you perform better, so love what you do and have fun! Seriously.

So be like the Spurs and champion these five team habits. You may not win a NBA Championship title, but you’ll win so much more. You’ll come to work in a transparent environment, have trusting coworkers and, a boss that disciplines like a parent. You won’t win everything in life, but at least you’ll have fun doing it!

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