Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Becoming a Professional MVP: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

"If you make an effort to do the best you can regularly, the results will be about what they should be. Not necessary to what you want them to be, but they will be about what they should, and only YOU will know whether you can do that. And that’s what I wanted from them more than anything else. And as time went by, and I learned more about things, I think it worked a little better, as far as the results."


John Wooden, one of the most respected coaches in the history of UCLA men’s basketball let alone the history of sports (6-Time Coach of the Year!), stated the above when asked to talk about what teamwork means to him. As I personally reflect on the aforementioned passage, I started to think of how I’d like to be talked about amongst my peers, colleagues and coworkers when we’ve all clocked out for the day and the water-cooler talk that happens outside the office begins. With that in mind, I believe the best approach we can take to working with a group of people in an organization (whom we may or may not get along with) needs to be viewed as if we were structured together as teammates; with the intent of being the best we can as a group.


Obviously as athletes we all are fixated on being the best we can to hopefully earn the individual respect and accolades we seek out to accomplish from our coaches, the media, etc. However, what each and every one of us must be reminded of is to value the benefits of how ‘teamwork’ can allow for group success as well as individual growth – both on and off the field.


But Pat, how do we stand out from the rest of our coworkers so that it is me getting the nod for the promotion? I understand the idea of being a ‘team player’ but I also need to make sure I’m being recognized for the value I bring to my organization…how can accomplish that? Here are the four key elements you need to know…
  1. Continually make an effort to inspire people to grow as a whole as opposed to singling people out. If your intent is to push people down so that you constantly are feeling better about yourself, you will lose the respect of many and will lose the camaraderie among everyone. Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player in the history of the NBA, was revered for his talents but also for his ability to inspire his teammates.
  2. Be a Man of the People…Not Above, But Equal. Nelson Mandela once said that “a good head and good heart are always a formidable combination.” Although it may be tough to marry these two things together completely, do you’re your best to remain humble in your aspirations and realize that we are all equally fighting for that same goal – no one person is better or worse than the next when it comes to the team. And when you have earned your way to the top of the totem pole, let your humility shine through and don’t ask others to do what you are not willing to do yourself.
  3. Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you; never excuse yourself. From this moment forward, pretend as if every email you send, every document you put together, every conversation you have is playing a pivotal role in creating your portfolio. Whether you realize it or not, you are influencing those around you so make sure each day you are leading by example. Show accountability and your supervisors will respect you for it – telling the truth sometimes can cause a few seconds of pain, but there is no medicine that can manage the pain for keeping in lies.
  4. Remain resolute and unwavering in getting to your goal; whether that is a promotion, increase in pay, bigger office or whatever, show that you have the discipline and mental toughness to achieve that goal. As Vince Lombardi said, “The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel – these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.”  
Since we started with a John Wooden quote, it only seems right to end with one as well to sum all this up: “winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” Show your commitment to the team and live out your true character that people will want to remember.
 Patrick is a MS, Sport Management candidate at Drexel University set to graduate in Summer 2014. He is the Business and Operations Graduate Assistant for Drexel Athletics and is responsible for supporting the Administration and Operations staff of Drexel's Athletic Cabinet this year. Gallagher graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in marketing and management, in May 2006 from Villanova University. During his enrollment, he was named Captain of the men's varsity soccer team and was appointed President of SAAC. He is looking to use his professional experience as a media sales consultant in New York, coupled with his passion for sports, to pursue a successful career in athletic administration.
You can connect with Patrick Gallagher on LinkedIn


No comments:

Post a Comment