I often read about great coaches. I’m a firm believer that great coaches would be successful in any walk of life or type of business. Most of the greats are dedicated to a system and process. Having full faith and belief in the process is what makes them successful. Guys like John Wooden, legendary basketball coach at UCLA, would take time to make sure his players put their socks on correctly and in a specific manner – not because it changed the way they played but because attention to detail is important and he knew if players would focus on minor details like putting on socks they would focus on important details like running a play.
Coaches like Gary Pinkel and Nick Saban, college football coaches in the SEC, have a process and they follow the process relentlessly. Pinkel was quoted as saying “To build and then sustain success at the highest level, it takes an entire team on the same page.” In Pinkel’s program, players are encouraged to be a great teammate more than they are encouraged to be amazing individually. Putting the needs of the team over the desires of the individual is critical.
The picture above is Bill Belichick, Head Coach of the New England Patriots – 2015 Superbowl Champions. Here’s a quote from the coach:
“Late in the year, the teams based on individuals die out, and the teams based on team keep growing and getting stronger,” Belichick said. “You only need X amount of difference-makers. Then you need guys who are going to outlast their opponents.”
“That’s half the battle, that everybody’s all-in.”
Coach Belichick and Coach Pinkel have the same message. Team is more important than the individual. If you’re familiar with pro football you know that New England is quarterbacked by Tom Brady. Brady is one of the best QB’s to ever play the game and much of the team’s success can be attributed to his talent. What is amazing about New England is that they have been able to plug players in around Brady and they continue to win. Brady is a difference maker but it takes 10 other guys to make the offense work – 10 other guys committed to the team.
The same is true in our organization, we’ve got lots of difference makers. We have teammates who would shine and be successful anywhere but what makes them most effective is the team around them.
Patient care is a team effort and we all play a part. Regardless of title or duty everyone on our staff is critical to our ability to provide great care and service. There are times we have staff who are great clinicians but not so great teammates and at times we’ve made the mistake of overlooking and excusing some bad behaviors because we think we can’t live without their clinical skills. We’ve come to learn that great clinicians are important but great clinicians who are great teammates are more important.
Make a point to be great everyday and make a greater effort to help someone else be great everyday – that’s what great teammates do – they elevate the play of everyone around them.