Which would you rather work as – the one everyone is pinning their hopes on for you to go it alone and carry the team emotionally, mentally as well as technically? Or as part of a winning team where everyone is confident and playing at their peak and in flow?
Eleven German players working together on the pitch as a team, trusting each other to do their job without getting emotional, without making silly challenges and getting themselves sent off is a much better bet. Yes, Germany had some injury problems but the substitutes not only knew their role, but excelled in it with one of them scoring the winning goal. Philipp Lahm, the consistently good captain, dedicated the win to the team. “Whether we have the best individual players or whatever does not matter, you have to have the best team. We stepped up time and again in the tournament, did not let ourselves get distracted by any disruption, went on our way. And at the end you stand there as world champions.”
When we work in a high trust team things get done quicker and more easily. There is less conflict, less back biting (no pun intended), less politics and more time spent on value added activities like practising free kicks and penalties.
Yes, Argentina played well too and created lots of chances, not just from Messi. But the pressure showed on Messi’s final free kick of the game and the already assigned “Golden ball” of the tournament looked foolish in the light of that.
Trust within teams does not happen overnight. “We’ve been together now for 55 days,” Joachim Low, the German team coach said. “We started this project 10 years ago, so this is the result of many years’ work, beginning with Jurgen Klinsmann. We’ve continued that work and our strength has been our constant progress. We’d not made this ultimate step before, but champions do what they will do. We believed we’d win it. We’re looking back over ten years of preparation and hard work. This team has developed a spirit which is unbelievable. We’re proud to be the first European team to win a title in Latin America, in Rio, in Brazil, in a footballing country par excellence… and this makes us proud.”
And as managers or leaders in your business – how can you put your trust in your team as a whole? And do they trust you? I’ll post some ideas tomorrow.
To find out practical ways to do that tune into Roger James Hamilton’s webinar on Wednesday at 17:30 BST or book your place at the Trust conference to hear Stephen M.R. Covey, Sir Bob Geldof and others on 11th September in London.