October in New England continues to give me such fond memories of high school fall sports. Competing during the season and hoping for a playoff chance to compete for the state championship was such an opportunity. There are so many lessons that can be learned from being part of a team. And there seems to be similar analogies to success in a winning team throughout all of life.
When we think of a winning team, what components come to mind? Certainly a necessary skill set and command over the game is important. Team leadership through coaching and on field mentors. I think of role players where people perform the duties they’re good at because not everyone can be the highest scorer.
I think of how this has translated into the positions and jobs that I found myself in over the years. Medicine and surgery can certainly be analogous to sports. There are clear days where your team is running on all cylinders and there are times when you guys need to go back to the drawing board to see what could work best.
The values that can be learned from belonging to a team are hard work, perseverance, humility, celebration, and pride. These things can often persist through life‘s experiences in the work you perform. As I now watch my youngest two children in the midst of their fall sports season, I often step away from the crowd just to think about all the ways sports and a winning team has played a role in my life. I make the connection back to our organization in Ortho Rhode Island where our staff, employees, providers continue to work hard and perform. Now people take advantage of self-help books and podcasts trying to teach everyone how to work better and more efficiently. Many of these are probably quite helpful.
However, I’d like to simplify it just a little. What if teamwork was another way to say corporate culture. There has been so many reports and descriptions of office and corporate culture being the most important driver of success in an organization. More than salary and benefits. What an organization may need is clear communication, clear roles and responsibilities, and most of all good leadership. Lastly, they need to feel like they belong with the success that happens. Sounds a lot like teamwork to me.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, I think many of the lessons I gained on a sports field have carried over to today. That sports field could represent any sort of inclusion group and certainly has very little to do with athletics. I think in all aspects of life, the team and the belonging is most important. I like to think that our A winning team throughout life organization represents our current winning team. I am very proud of all my team members. And never too bold to dismiss opportunities for improvement. Again, teamwork seems to be the key.