Dedication to one another comes first
On Thanksgiving Day, the Seattle Seahawks played a phenomenal game of football, beating the San Francisco 49ers by 16 points. When asked in a post-game press conference how the team accomplished such a victory on their opponent’s home field, cornerback Richard Sherman explained,
“We were having a good time, enjoying the game and each other. We were like nine and ten-year-old kids playing our hearts out for each other. Right now we are dedicated to one another.”
Most post-game banter is the same–players review their hard work, preparation, and execution. But this isn’t what the Seahawks wanted the world to know about their team or this particular win.
Coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson further resounded on Sherman’s comments. The team had prepared for this game like they would any other. What set them apart was the spirit of camaraderie that infiltrated each and every play. This intangible but palpable force brought the Seahawks the win they so robustly went after.
Carroll describes his team’s culture as being built on trust, respect and confidence. When his players have trust in and respect for each other they have the confidence to do what they do best. Each player knows his teammates are working with him to bring about a successful outcome. Under Carroll’s guidance, the team has cultivated a winning culture that is hard to beat.
Build a winning culture
A company’s culture has a lot to do with its success. How cohesive a culture is determines how well the company performs. Winning cultures are founded upon
- Commitment to a higher cause or purpose
- Responsibility to accept specific roles
- Accountability to give and take critique
- Integrity to do what you say
- Respect for company, competitors, self, managers and team
- Trust in self, co-workers and managers
- Courage to do what’s right
- Compassion that understands what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes
- Service that is self-sacrificial
- Humility that gives others the credit and glory
It is no surprise that Carroll, Sherman and Wilson used these words multiple times throughout their post-game interviews. And it is further evidence of the team’s winning culture.
Cultivating this type of winning environment doesn’t happen overnight. In addition to the characteristics listed above, it also requires
- The right people in the right places.
- Consistent communication that is not only about giving information, but taking information in through active listening.
- A shared vision that everyone understands and is committed to achieving.
Play like the Seahawks
Is your team playing like the Seahawks? Does your company have the character that competitors don’t know how to compete with let alone emulate? If you don’t know or aren’t sure, it might be time to find out.
ClimatePlus, an online organizational assessment can help determine the state of your company’s culture, pinpointing opportunities for cultural improvement. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me at email@example.com.