I enjoy watching college and professional basketball games – especially the tournaments and playoffs – and was particularly drawn to watch the NBA finals this year because of the Dallas, Miami matchup. The buzz was all about how a team without the superstars (Dallas) would fare against the team with the superstars (Miami). We got our answer with the Dallas victory.
Building a winning team is more about culture than talent.
Talent is certainly important. You can’t build a great team or company without capable people, but as most of us have learned, more talent doesn’t always produce a win.
Superstars often don’t play well with others and they rarely act with the greater good of the team in mind. The prospects for personal advancement are just too alluring for most stars to stay focused on the advancement of the team. In contrast, capable people who passionately share a set of core values meld together to become something special – a winning team.
I’m not accusing any of the Miami players of being self-focused – that would be unfair – but 30+ years of building, leading and managing winning teams has taught me to favor the capable team with a strong team culture over the superstar team every time. Building a winning team is about building a great culture.