Over the past few weeks there has been this little sports competition that has captured everyones attention ... the 2014 Word Cup!!
Held in Brazil (only the second time it's been held in South America), it has proven to be a spectacle of epic proportions, with many favourites not doing as well as expected and other, not so well known football countries doing surprisingly well (like my own home country Australia!). However, it was the Germany v Brazil match that I want to draw your attention too. This semi-final was geared to be a top game, with Brazil likely to win due to the home ground advantage ... but no, it was a whitewash of German players outclassing the Brazilians ... i watched in amused horror as Germany first got one, two, then three goals, within the space of minutes, the Brazilians body language said it all - disbelief, horror, dare I say it, fear?!?
But this is where the problem lay for Brazil, the pressure obviously became too much and the much needed team dynamic and discipline unraveled in the face of the impossible - defeat.
And there was Germany, an obviously tight team, almost seemingly able to read each others minds, so in-tune with each other they were. With an efficiency the Germans are renowned for, they took control of the game, as a team, and kicked butt like no one has ever seen.
That is the clue, the step to their success, efficient team work.
(image from here)
On friday night I was invited to watch the Leeds Rhinos play Hull in Rugby League at Leeds Carnegie Stadium. It has been years (if not decades) since I watched a Rugby League match live. I was going for Leeds, of course, and as I watched the first half I could not believe it as no-one seemed to be scoring. In fact, both teams seemed slightly disconnected, missing obvious plays, and lacking in communication. When they went off at half time I though if they keep on playing like this then this could be the first time I ever see a Rugby League match end nil all.
As they came out to play the second half I noticed a perceptible change in the Leeds side. They seemed more relaxed, more in touch with each other as they made their way out to line up - this change was evident in the first ten minutes when they communicated themselves to an eighteen/nil lead over Hull. What a change to first half! They were talking to each other, directing each other, intuitively passing the ball to each other, suddenly they were in the flow, the stream of success and things were going their way. Sound familiar? Like a particular German football team that blitzed Brazil?
(image from here)
So, what is Germany and the Leeds Rhinos trick to awesome teamwork leading to amazing success?
1. They all know what they want to achieve ... as a whole. The goal they have is clear in everyones mind and because of this there is no deviation from the game plan, no ego's involved, just plain understanding of what each cog in the wheel has to do to get the required results. Simple really!
2. They bond like no-ones business. They communicate clearly with each other and will listen to all opinions, knowing that this is best for the team dynamic - no-one feels left out or disregarded, everyones opinion is valid and this fosters a relationship of trust and triumph.
3. Because they trust each other they can get a little creative in their plays, take a few risks, knowing that their team members will be there to back them up. AND whether the risk is a success or not, the team does not blame them, in fact they forgive, learn, and move on.
4. They give a hundred percent of effort, because the game isn't just for them, it is also for everyone else on that team, and therefore the responsibility is greater and something they take seriously. They do, however, understand that people can have bad days, but in recognising this they support and take up the slack without complaining if a team member is out of sorts.
5. They have a fantastic leader (or team captain) who doesn't let their ego get in the way of the team dynamic, in fact, they will often sacrifice themselves for the good of the team, knowing that the shared goal is more important than the individual.
Can you think of anything else that makes a great team? Let me know in the comments.
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright