From Voodoo Nonsense to Victory: Building the Foundation of a Championship Team.

Last week we started a new series titled “The Winning Formula of a Championship Team”.  In this three part series we will examine the seven critical components, the eight key differentiators, and the nine fundamental characteristics of a Championship Team.  

For the next Seven weeks we will focus on Part 1: The Seven Critical Components of a Championship Team.

Critical Component #1: The Game Plan.

The “Game Plan” is the foundation of the team.  Without the Game Plan the game is meaningless.  The Game Plan encapsulates the strategic vision and leadership direction that guide the team’s efforts and decisions. It clarifies the team’s mission, approach to playing the game and what winning the game looks like.

In a business context, the “Game Plan” represents the Company Mission, Company Vision, and the company’s Core Values set forth by leadership and provides a clear path for the organization to follow towards achieving its goals. 

The Game Plan serves as the foundational strategy that informs all other aspects of the team’s operation, from the roles and responsibilities of team members to the processes and tools they use to execute their tasks, to the filter they use to make decisions.

A Confession

Now, I want to be totally transparent with you – years ago when I first was introduced to the concept of Company Mission, Company Vision, and Company Core Values I thought it was a bunch of voodoo nonsense but here I am, a convert dedicated to helping companies create their own Game Plan based on their company’s MVV (Mission, Vision and Values).

Here is what changed my mind

The more I coached and consulted entrepreneurs the more I realized that decisions were being made every day in their companies that didn’t move them any closer to their goals.  As a matter of fact, decisions made and actions taken often moved them further away from their goals, caused confusion amongst the team, and impacted the level of service they could provide to their clients and customers.

We needed to provide the team with a way to filter the decisions they made, the actions they took, and the future they were building for the company.  We needed everyone to have the same “Game Plan”.

Defining the Game Plan

Alongside my clients, we began to craft their company’s foundational identity which included their mission, vision, and core values. This foundation plays an integral role in defining what a company is, what it aspires to be, and unites the team in striving towards unified goals. 

Company Core Values

Core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action within the company. Core values inform the vision and mission, shaping the culture and reflecting what the company stands for. They guide how team members interact with one another and with clients and customers. 

These values help in decision-making processes, recruitment, and retaining talent, ensuring that the team not only works towards common goals but also shares a common ethos.

Company Mission: 

Your company’s mission is essentially its reason for being  – why it exists in the first place. A well-articulated mission statement provides your team with a clear focus and purpose.  It helps everyone stay aligned on what you’re collectively working towards. This clarity motivates team members by reminding them of the impact of their work beyond just the day-to-day tasks.

Company Vision:

While the mission is about the now, the vision is about the future—it’s the aspirational goal of what the company aims to become. 

A compelling vision excites and inspires the team, providing a long-term goal that everyone works towards. This forward-looking perspective encourages innovation and ambition within the team, fostering a culture of growth and continuous improvement.

Building the Game Plan

I have found that the best way to build a company’s Game Plan is to start with the company’s Core Values.  These are three to seven values that everything in the company is filtered through.  It is a lot easier for a team member to know the right thing to do when they understand the filter the company uses when making decisions.  

A company currently has core values whether it was intentional about setting them or not.  Being intentional about setting core values allows leadership to build a team and a company culture around the foundational pillars of the company.

Once the company’s core values are defined they inform the next step which is getting clear on your company mission.  Again, this is why the company exists, what’s purpose is.    

Defining the core values and the mission of the company creates a clear understanding of who a company is, and why it exists.  The last step in building the Game Plan is to get really clear on where the company is going. 

The sad truth

Here is the sad truth: Great people go to work every day and perform their duties, some do them well and some do not but most are uninspired.  The reason they are uninspired is that they don’t know the company story.  They don’t know what the company or the company’s owner truly values. They don’t know why they come to work (beyond simply getting a paycheck).  They don’t know where the company is heading or how important their role is in getting there.

As business owners we eat, drink and sleep our businesses. We are nearly always thinking about them in some way or another but our team members aren’t.  They go home and have lives outside of work.

I have found that when most business owners believe they have properly communicated the company’s core values, the company’s mission, and the company’s vision they are really only about 30% of the way there.  Most business owners are drastically under communicating the company’s Game Plan both internally and externally.  

For a company and a team to have the best chances of success it needs to create a game plan, over communicate the game plan and base its decisions and actions on the game plan.

Next week: 

Next week we will discuss the Company Rule book (Policies).

The Rule Book is the list of rules by which we play the game to win.

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