Sunday, February 26, 2017

Never Fight Alone

I have written several times about unity focusing on the value of it.  In today's selfie taking, social media liking society --- we tend to think we can do things by ourselves.  I can even say I fell victim to this when I first started in business management that I can get things done better if I do it myself. What I found was that I was overworking myself, getting frustrated and not embracing the potential team I had around me.  So I had to make changes within myself to get rid of the "I can do this better by myself" mentality to begin to find ways to use those around me to their strengths.  

I recently spoke to a group of start-up businesses owners here in the North Dallas area and gave them some simple business strategies that will help them win in their entrepreneurial journey.  I decided that the struggles I experienced were not just for me to improve, but once I share them with others --- they could avoid them and have success! So one main strategy I learned and want to share with you is the value of a SWOT analysis.  

Many businesses use a SWOT analysis to evaluate all aspects of their business operations and I actually used this concept with each team I coached and staff I managed.  The SWOT analysis helps you get an authentic evaluation of your team which goes hand in hand with goal setting.  I believe that goal setting is imperative to the team to understand the little steps we need to accomplish today in order to fulfill the vision at the end of this season.  

This video is something we use to break the ice in regards to team building and it really helps set the tone for our team building retreats.  This video gives animation to the basic concept players must commit to in order to have a "Successful Team."  Success is measured by your team's goals, desires and what they are willing to sacrifice.  You define what success looks like to you.

One thing in particular that I want to focus on for the point of this post is the part where it says that each person brings their BEST GIFT to the team.  How can we measure what is someone's best gift?  Coaches, I implore you to have your team perform a SWOT analysis of themselves and each other.  We have done this anonymously to see what players thing about each other and we have done this openly where players get to hear what their teammates think their strengths are.  

Our locker rooms were always a safe place where we told our teams there was no judgement, no negative talk about our sisters and absolutely no laughing at other's individuality.  I wanted to make sure our team environment first embraced diversity before we went deeper to allow an open forum for evaluations.  It is so necessary for growth and confidence building because most of our role players would struggle when they were the best player in high school and now they are being asked to focus on a specific role.  When we would have these SWOT analysis meetings and have each player talk about or write down the strengths of their teammates - you would be surprised how low they think of themselves.  So this is a time to openly correct and give feedback to the lack of confidence.  This is a time to empower your players to know how valuable they are not only to you - but to their sisters.  

This is a SWOT Analysis looks like :

            Strengths                 *                  Weaknesses
     Opportunities                *                       Threats

First we would start with evaluating each player's individual Strengths.  We would have them write down their thoughts, then we would share.  Next we would address their Weaknesses.  Now this part can be hard for some players because they don't want their "friend" to be mad at them but I would always explain that becoming aware of what we need to work on is apart of growing so if you say it with love, then you are helping her.  This also helped us as coaches see where our team's IQ was and how realistic they were.  

After this, I would have the individual tell the team based on what she just heard, what opportunities can she think of that she can take advantage of to help our team win?  The usually gave answers such as "come to the gym early to work on my free throws" or "commit to getting better with my on ball defense."  We typically had real and authentic answers during this portion and for a moment they girls were vulnerable which allowed us all to deepen our respect for one another.  Finally I would ask what threats can you foresee that could hinder you from bringing your strengths to this team every day and developing your weaknesses?  They would usually say answers like "push myself when I want to give up in the weight room" or "make sure I discipline myself to keep working on my shot."  

Now the best part about this team building activity is seeing the girls open up, become more aware and increase their confidence in knowing that we ALL have things to work on and we are in this journey together!  So as my husband and I have stated so many times before, we believe in teamwork  and unity!  We believe in working together and bringing everyone's strengths together to make a dynamic team.  

The last thing I want to address in recruiting for coaches or even business owners that this SWOT analysis will help you connect with the right people.  Knowing and understanding your strengths and weaknesses is so important.  When you recruit a staff, make sure you hire people that are strong in areas that your are weak.  This will make your team more dynamic and stronger.  Understand that you should never fight alone and if you are a leader, develop those around you to identify their strengths so you can operate in your strength.  When you prepare others to effectively do their job - then your job is done!

If you would like some help with team building then I encourage you to reach out to us at for a customized quote within 24 hours to book us.  Having a strong team fighting together will cover up deficiencies or lack of talent.  Teamwork truly outweighs talent when you can get a group of people on the same page and committed to the goals!  Please share this article with someone you know and feel free to like us on FACEBOOK for a chance to win a KBJ Academy coffee mug.