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How A Group Can Become A High Performance Team
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How a Group Can Become a High Performance Team
Management 331
Ms. Deborah W. Adams
April 21, 2004
Differences surround us. We are all different; otherwise we would all be me. How can we overcome those differences? Is it important? Does it matter? How can a group of people who dont like each other become a high-performance team? Easy. By believing in the greater good of the team. Setting aside differences does has its advantagesand leads to untold riches (so to speak).

In 1991 a short, rotund maverick of a businessman had a dream. For years he had been acquiring talented young men to work for him. The previous years had been heartbreaking – the second best in the industry and no way to climb up over the hump that stood in his way. Tenacious and dedicated to his task, he sought out more talent to achieve his dream. But it was no longer 1989; nor was it 1990. This was 1991 and the dream was closer than ever. This year would be the first of many years where he would reign at the top of the world. This was his year.

The man in question was Jerry Kraus, General Manager of the Chicago Bulls. He had gone on gut feeling to put together a group of young men who could win the National Basketball Association title. This group of guys were starting to gel and work as a team around their young superstars, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant.

Teamwork was instilled upon these gentlemen and the rest of the team. Their quiet, Zen-like coach talked in riddles challenging them to expand their mind. Coach Phil Jackson approached the game with a different mentality. He rarely yelled at the players. He seldom questioned their play. “PJ” lived in his own world and walked to a different beat. After a stellar career as a player in North Dakota State University and with the NBA World Champion New York Knicks, he went on to coach in the Continental Basketball Association. He was ready to take this team to the top, only they had to learn how to be a team. He was definitely ready to coach a World Champion.

Taking a group of individuals and turning them into a high-performance team is no easy task. Coach Jackson capitalized on the talents of his players and converted them from individuals into teammates with the same goal…to raise a championship banner in Chicago Stadium.

Every team needs a leader. Every leader needs to have a mentor to take them from a great player to a superstar. Every high-performance team needs a leader, too. Those leaders need to learn how to become great leaders. Every successful team needs to have role-players to follow the leaders guidance and direction, do their part for the team, and step up when needed to. Role-players are on the team because they are specialists or all-around performers.

In the business world teams are just as important as in the sports world. As we know, the Chicago Bulls were led by Coach Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and eventually Dennis Rodman to legendary status. The Bulls won three-consecutive NBA Championships – only the second team in NBA history to accomplish this…and they did it twice.

Six championships is in eight years has only been accomplished by one other team, the Boston Celtics of the 1950s and 60s. Bostons success was credited to their high-performance team brought together by their coach, Red Auerbach. Again, a group of people guided to teamwork by a leader.

Lifting a group up to the next level is a challenge in its own right. Maintaining championship status is even more difficult. In order to remain at the peak of their game, be it sports or business, requires dedication and commitment from everyone involved. The leadership of the team must demand 110% from each team member. In order to get there, leadership has to develop the team members – to encourage them, discipline them, and to educate them.

Roles and team assignments must be established. Everyone needs to know how they fit into the overall scheme of things. By segmenting the goal into objectives and developing a road map on how to get there, a leader can provide his team with the right direction to travel.

After identifying

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