“Talent Wins Games, but Teamwork and Intelligence Win Championships" Michael Jordan

How can we dare challenge the above words of wisdom coming from an individual with an impressive list of achievements to his credit that overshadows his 6’.6” frame? “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time,” states his biography on the NBA website. Sure, he knows a thing or two about talent and its essential accompaniments.

“Talent is God-given, be humble. Fame is man-given; be grateful. is self-given; be careful.” These are the words of John Wooden the head coach at UCLA, the winner of 10 NCAA national championships over 12 years. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame two times, back in 1960 and then once again, in 1973. Coach Wooden earned the nickname the “Wizard of Westwood.”

Every Leadership Coach continues to insist on a number of moot points related to the structure, values, and survival of a team. In my dictionary, TEAM stands for: Together Everybody Achieves More or Together Everyone Acquires Money.” Take your pick!

There is no ‘I’ in the way we write ‘team.’ It goes to infer that each member must dilute his/her identity for the sake of others to build momentum. Failure to do so leads to unpleasant loss or disaster. Teamwork requires deep knowledge of each other’s preference, style, weaknesses, strengths, and capabilities of pulling surprises. It helps the team articulate its every move, action, and strategy to its ultimate victory.

Intelligence relates to both command of one’s own faculties and an understanding of other members’ particular action. Not only insightful intelligence related to the opponents’ game tactics, their star players’ favorite moves, and both defense, and offense strategies help gain an invincible lead.

Without the above two factors, talent will fall a helpless victim to the opposite team’s smarts. Talent alone cannot act as a catalyst for strong bonds of camaraderie; it needs dedication to the game, devotion to the common cause, and unqualified attention to victory throughout the session. It is this unified approach with a collaborative spirit that helps create bonds of mutual respect and care. Whenever the question of a team’s performance comes up, the individual loses his/her identity to that of the entire team.

Given the above scenario, it shall not be hard to relate the same principles to any other important environment. We could go from commerce to manufacturing, from learning and teaching, from management to leadership, or from family living to state governance or anywhere else. Proper preparation can take the uncertainty out of the equation and help design a comprehensive action plan that delivers sustained rewards.

Much the same way, continued intelligence updates on market conditions, competition as well new products, systems, technologies, legislative changes and other relevant information holds the key to the success of an enterprise. How the people involved use that information and take preemptive steps for growth determines their continued growth.

Suffice it to say, today’s fast-changing technology and very dynamic industrial climate demand the highest level of both intelligence as well as teamwork for continued progress, nothing less.

I am sure the discerning readers can find a number of possible scenarios where the above faculties can and do create tremendous opportunities for growth. Please feel free to share your viewpoint, observation/s, and/or critiques for everyone’s enlightenment.

Thank You!

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