What Makes “A” Players “A” Teams?

November 10, 2015

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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A couple of weeks ago, the New York Mets suffered a defeating blow at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Though the rivalry was intense and we New Yorkers love to win, I have to admit I am guilty of admiring the team that beat us.

A great deal of effort in recruiting and training go into making a winning team. Picking the right coaches and players to develop an “A” team takes time, money, and good instincts.

But there are many teams out there with enormous payrolls for “A” players that do not have winning teams.

So what makes “A” players “A” teams?

In my opinion, it is the ability and drive to overcome.

Did Kansas City have good coaching and good players? Absolutely.

Were they well trained? Yes.

But was that enough? No.

There were other good players and coaches over the last thirty years, but none could carry the water all the way to the summit like this team did.

What turned these “A” players into an “A” team, I believe, was the ability to overcome the obstacles.

If you study the coaches and players individually, you will see there is a pattern in each of their lives of overcoming the odds – some pretty big odds, in many cases. They brought this spirit and experience of overcoming into the game, and the result was infectious. This experience brought them together to fight as one. It kept them focused under pressure. And, in the end, it made them come back to win in the twelfth inning when just a few innings before, it did not look possible. It made them play to win and not give up.

What made this year’s Royals win?

It was this spirit of overcoming.

What made an estimated 800,000 people show up to celebrate their win?

It was the idea that these were real people who pulled together to make history. And in pulling together to beat the odds, the whole nation (yes, even many of us reluctant New Yorkers) felt a kindred spirit.

Oftentimes, we as leaders in business look for impressive resumes. We hire impressive interviewees. But if you want an out-of-the-park winning team, look beyond that. Find those who also know how to overcome, those who have pushed beyond obstacles and exceeded expectations in previous positions and in life. Look for those with a personal story of success despite the odds.

Put enough of these together on a team, and the odds don’t stand a chance.

If you’re facing a challenge (like a thirty-year losing streak), this kind of team can get your organization back to the winner’s circle.


Join Mike Harbour and me for today’s Ignite Your Leadership Strengths (complimentary) webinar – it’s all about creating a winning team for your business.