Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"A man is but his thoughts..."

Eurobasket05_1The national team of Greece are European champions of basket-ball! Having spent quite some time on the courts and with still vivid memories of the first European championship Greece took in 1987, I am extremely happy and proud of what this team achieved. Like in football in 2004, team spirit is what really made a crucial difference in getting to the top. In fact, I believe that this is true in almost any human endeavour: if you build a great team you have far better chances to succeed.

Of course, "technical" capability is an absolute prerequisite: you can't build a team for great performance without individual talent and skill. But it is not sufficient. One also needs to have spirit, team spirit as it were.
Pinakasgiannakis_1And I was wondering how the Greek coach built such team spirit. I now have part of my answer in a picture from the room in which the team gathered before the final game.  Usually one will see technical drawings of moves to play during a game on a white board such as this one. Here there are just three sentences:

"One is successful in big undertakings not only by showing strength but by persevering"

"The only path for this team is to be who we really are in order to become what we can become"

"Only when one is ready to go beyond their limits can they win"

These are eternal truths for any bunch of talented individuals who aspire to become a winning team. Extremely difficult, but much less than ususallt believed to be. It takes putting the ego aside and working for the team amongst other things. And in fact ego is one of the top 5 reasons why some teams do not perform. All sorts of teams, not just sports teams.

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