I love sports. Whenever I have some free time, I still play soccer, although not on a competitive level. I play just for the fun of it. Whenever you watch any game of sport, whether it is basketball or football, and you see a team performing at their best, defeating their opponents and winning accolades, what you are observing is the power of a positive team. Before the team gets to display the top performance you saw, behind the scene, they must have worked hard together during practice, collaborated, and developed strategies that will position the team for success during competitive tournaments. A positive team is a team of people who have agreed to come together and work together, with each team member putting in their best efforts towards a common goal.

Yes, every team has its star players, but a star player alone does not determine its success. It is the combination of efforts from every member of the team that leads to success. Lebron James is a great basketball player in many respects; he has played and won several NBA championships, he has been named NBA’s most valuable player (MVP), and he has won two Olympic gold medals. But all these accomplishments are because Lebron played alongside other talented players. If he found himself playing in the same team with a bunch of mediocre players, he probably wouldn’t have achieved all these remarkable feats.

Therefore, it is reasonable to say that a team’s success depends on the individuals who make up the team. The positive team is a mission-oriented team with a full understanding of what the team wants to accomplish, with everyone in the group ready to put in their best effort to achieve results. To achieve success in sports, a team must practice together, coordinate, and collaborate on winning strategies, and each team member must know, understand, and perform their roles on the game day. Each member of the team’s ability to work together ensures smooth coordination of the ball from the person in the center position and onward through the small forward to the shooting guard, who is ultimately responsible for making the shots in the hoops.

Just like the game of sports, in business, each functional team must play its role to ensure that the organization is successful. An organization will thrive and enjoy continued growth if every department within the company can learn and adopt the essential characteristics of a positive team. I have framed these essential characteristics as the 5’cs of a Positive team.

Competency: It may seem obvious, but every team member needs some level of competencies to perform in their roles and deliver results per expectations. Every sports coach work hard to find talents, and they spend time to train and nurture the talents before they can play in the professional arena. Similarly, it is the hiring manager’s responsibility to bring in the right people into an organization. Once a new employee is hired, right from the onboarding stage, there must be a well-established systems and structures within the organization to promote a culture of learning, a cooperative environment, where everyone works together towards a common goal. The business leader should create an enabling environment that will reward good performance and promote teamwork in the organization. Business leaders must provide access to training that will improve the employees’ competencies, and there must be opportunities for career growth to retain talents in the organization.

Connection: If you have ever been a part of a sports team, you will clearly see the strong bond among the players. The positive team is not just a group of people that must play together to win a competitive game, they are people on a mission, and they know the failure of one person is a failure for everyone in the team. The team practice together, play together, and often fight together to defeat opponents. The players have become friends, and they learn to confide in their teammates with their struggles. How are the dynamics of the people within your organization? Are co-workers friendly, or are they just a bunch of people who do not necessarily fit, but must work together? To improve the attitude and the team spirit, business leaders must encourage more team building activities to promote greater connection among the employees. 

Communication: The level of communication among players during any competitive game is always amazing. They call one another by name; they often shout when the game gets intense. While on the sideline, the coach is also yelling and providing instructions to ensure the players do what they should to win. The purpose of communication among the sports’ teams is to ensure everyone stays on the mission and deliver result. How do you communicate within your team? Communication among teams can only be effective if there is a clear understanding of what the sender wants, when he wants it, and how the recipient’s actions can impact the organization’s bottom line. Whether your team communicates using phones, slack, email, or instant messaging applications, everyone involved needs to have a sense of responsibility and understand what is expected from any information sent out. Communication is crucial in a team setting, and if properly executed, can help achieve the organization’s objectives.

Commitment: Every member of a sports team is committed to the success of the team. They play to win. Everyone in the team is putting in their best effort to ensure that they come out on top. Is every member of your team committed to the success of your organization? Every employee needs to understand how their actions or inactions can affect the company’s profits. Being late to respond to a customer request, doing a half-hearted job, not showing up when you should, are not ways to show your commitment to your company. Every employee in an organization must learn to wear an entrepreneur cap to help them weigh all their actions to determine whether or not they are for the good of the organization.

Caring: You will not understand the power of a positive team and how much they care about each team member until you see a player get injured. In soccer, whenever any player gets injured and is being taken out, you can physically feel the pain in the eyes of the other teammates. There have been occasions; a game turned chaotic of the injury of a teammate. That is caring for team members; the mantra is that “if you hurt one of us, you have hurt all of us.” Do you want to have a positive team? Then, every member of the team needs to watch out and care for colleagues. This may include asking about family well-being, checking how they are dealing with their workloads, and chipping in to support if and when required. 

A positive team is a cohesive, cooperative, collaborative, and mission-oriented group of people working together with everyone putting their optimum effort towards a common goal. To ensure you have a positive team in your organization, you must start from the hiring process and bring the right people to the company. You should have a system set up to foster a high team spirit and an engaging environment where everyone would love to come in every day, work on various tasks, and understand that a win for the business is a win for every employee in the organization. 

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