Category: Team Culture

The Stanley cup is the oldest and most revered trophy in professional sports. Originally donated to the “professional hockey club of the dominion of Canada” in 1892, it has since become the crown jewel of the NHL, traveling to the headquarters of each NHL champion since 1958 (Schwartz, 2017). Players not only leave their legacies engraved upon the cup, in a tradition unique to the NHL, they are each allowed one day with the cup to celebrate how they please. The cup has traveled to Europe, been used for baptisms, schlepped up mountains, and has even been shared with the winner of the Kentucky Derby (Anderson, 2016). Yet despite its many travels and travails, there are 11 teams who have never won the Stanley Cup.   So what helps teams and organizations put themselves into a position to raise Lord Stanley’s cup?  One philosophy and contributing factor is infusing an adaptable playing style in high pressure g...
Derek Jeter.  Tom Brady.  Kobe Bryant.  Three polarizing men that have forever left an imprint on the sports they play.  Regardless of your view on these three individuals, each of these athletes have shown uncommon leadership in their respective roles as team captain. Showing the kind of leadership that has transcended their position, their teams, and at times, their sports.  The influence they each have had is remarkable in that they continually made their teammates better when they stepped into the competition.  They modeled excellence in their respective sports while directing their teams toward victory, and it was the influence they possessed that made them such great captains for their teams (Hackman, 2011).  This influence can be broken into three important characteristics: care, courage, and consistency.  It is these three characteristics that make a team captain a great captain and played an important role in Derek Jeter, Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant’s lives of leaders...
Super Bowl season is upon us.  This Sunday, at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, the New England Patriots will meet the Atlanta Falcons to determine the 2017 NFL championship.  To the winner will go the spoils: the Lombardi trophy, homecoming parades, changes in team culture, fortifications of team and individual legacies.  To the loser?  Well, that's complicated, and something that's often overlooked. The virtues of winning are well-established.  We're conditioned to compete, and culturally, financially and biologically rewarded for winning.  Several scientific studies have shown a direct correlation between winning outcomes and testosterone and dopamine levels in the brain, which enhance both mental functioning and feelings of pleasure and well-being (Huettel, 2014). Researchers state that success and winning shape our brains more than genetics and drugs (Hardman, 2013). Success changes the chemistry of the brain, making you more focused, smarter, more confident and more aggressi...