5 time NBA All-Star Isiah Thomas walked into his old high school gym to speak to a group of star struck youngsters who have dreams of making it to the big time.
As the applause fades, Isiah begins his speech “In every neighbourhood there is a guy who can really play…he can shoot the lights out.” Isiah continues “Every time…it’s swish…swish…swish” whilst mimicking a jump shot.
He continues “Then the kid comes here to St Joseph and the he gets cut.”
“People ask ‘Tom, was really good. How come he got cut?’
The kids listen with complete attention, hanging on Isaiah’s every word.
Isiah then makes his key point “You See, Tom didn’t learn the fundamentals of basketball…Team basketball…which is what you are all here to learn.”
Why is this relevant to you?
I meet talented, bright and passionate people a lot in my business – they are the ‘players who can really play’ as Isaiah said.
However many of them struggle to stay afloat or worse the give up on their dreams.
I believe most people fail not because they aren’t good “players” but because they didn’t learn the “team” fundamentals.
Success is a team sport.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that this isn’t a new concept for me.
I wax lyrical about the importance surrounding yourself with good people but at the sometime I think that statement can be a little misleading.
Most people translate “good people” as more people like them.
That’s a potential problem.
You see if you only bring into play more people who are like you then you will only succeed in strengthening what you are good at and are in danger of neglecting areas of weaknesses which will leave you exposed.
Let me give you an example.
I’ve very creative. I come up with more ideas in a few minutes that most people will come up with in a day – it’s just the way my brain works. However, the downside is that I can become bored, distracted and unfocused.
If simply surrounded myself with more people like me, we would come up with an avalacnhe of creative ideas but very little will get done. Sure, it would be a lot of fun but very unproductive.
I’ve had to become more self aware and spend time with people who have different strengths and bring different ways of working/thinking to the table.
How do I select a more rounded group?
Here’s a quick, simple generalisation of the 4 groups people fall into. I’m using a tool called Tetramap™ which I use when working with teams.
Take a look at the descriptions and see which ones you most resonate with, you’ll probably find there are a couple which are most like you.
These individuals are bold, driven and confident. They are goal oriented and winning is the key focus for them “eyes on the prize’ would be their mantra.
They are good at keeping control, holding people to account against against targets and are quick are making decisions.
These individuals are positive in their outlook and are often incredibly motivating. They are creative, visionary and inspire others to see possibilities. They like to keep the energy high, have lots of fun and usually have huge social networks.
These people bring order and clarity. They like to think things through, considering all the facts and logic before any decisions are made. They a great at planning, listening and finding logical solutions as well as ensuring accuracy and quality.
They are caring, loyal and emotionally aware. They bring harmony, calmness and a sense of togetherness to a team. They will consider the wider impact of actions on others and be more in touch with how people will feel as a result.
Once you know which is most like you take a look around to your peer group and see if you have enough of the other types in your circle.
If you don’t, it’s time to plug the gaps. For example if you resonate mostly with Water and Fire, then to balance your group out you need to bring in some Earth and Air people.
If you need more help or information on this please feel free to get in touch.