I’m With the Band
by Adam Zack — March 20, 2019
Teamwork is the most frequently used word when people talk about their business success, as it should be.
- “Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.”
- “There is no I in TEAM.”
- “Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.”
- “Teamwork requires that everyone’s efforts flow in a single direction.”
- “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
It’s a lot of catchy analogies and idealistic thinking. Most often, business teamwork is compared to sports teams. A championship season, a string of winning seasons, a record setting performance. But very rarely is the team of players the same from season to season. There are usually some constants in great teams, such as the coach, like John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Belichick. Or the best players, like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Bill Russell. While we all (OK, not all – my daughters are at the top of the non-sports fan list) feel like we can compare our successes (and failures, let’s be honest) to sports teams, I think the better analogy for our grocery business is a great band.
A great band combines creativity, excitement, collaboration, longevity, practice and hard work to produce success. And by success I don’t just mean selling millions of records (or downloads, or radio hits – however it’s measured today). It’s creating work that stands the test of time and is listened to over and over by its ardent fans and supporters. There may be a leader of the band – usually the lead singer, but not always, but I think the key to a great band is the consistency of the core lineup. Bands like U2, The Beatles, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Metallica and NOFX have had little or no changes in the band for decades. It’s the key to success. I want to be like a great band. I can’t sing, so I’ll be the drummer like Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac and let my bandmates – my managers, supervisors and employees – play their instruments and sing. We succeed and have longevity because we all contribute and share the awards and accolades. When one of us is having an off-tune day, the other step up their playing so no one in the crowd notices. Think of it like this: Have you ever heard just one instrument by itself from a song you love? Only the bass, or just the drum part? Probably not, because on its own its unremarkable. But put them all together and you have Born to Run or Hey Jude. Great bands that last don’t have members with egos, they have awesome teamwork.
Filed Under: Company Blog