I am so proud of the USM baseball team and their performance this past week. I’ve taken great pleasure in looking at Ole Miss social media pages and seeing the comments. Almost every comment is positive toward the Eagles and can be summed up with this one: “mad respect for the grit, determination, and talent exhibited in Oxford.” And this is a very young team. The next few years are going to be amazing!
A team is only as good as its leader, and I bet Coach Scott Berry would agree that there are several factors involved in building a winning culture, whether that is a business, a sports team, or a family. Here is my take on building a winning team.
First and foremost, you must clearly define your values. Each member of your team needs to know the answer to a few questions. Why do we exist? What do we believe in? What is our vision for the future? Answering these questions puts everything else in perspective, and determines objectives, goals, and parameters of success.
Second, your priority should be to invest in your team’s wellness. It is easy to notice when a team member, co-worker, or family member is exhibiting signs of burnout or declining health, but it is another thing to take decisive action to address the problem. A strong component in reducing stress and burnout is to ensure each team member has the right resources for the job and is provided with continuous opportunities for improvement. The health of the organization depends on each member’s welfare.
The third factor I live by every day is to empower and trust your team to work with you, not for you. The best way to empower team members is through trust. When people see that you trust them, you give them confidence that translates to strong motivation, and goal-oriented success will always be the result.
That’s how you attract and retain A-players who bring life to the organization’s values. Here at The Pine Belt News, I believe in my team, and they know they don’t work for me – it often feels like I work for them, and that is the way it should feel. I’ve learned that my job is to give my team the tools they need and get out of their way.
I believe that’s how we’ve continued to experience success in an industry where 25% of local community newspapers have shuttered their presses over the past 10 years.
I haven’t asked the Eagles baseball coach, but I bet he would agree with my take on building a strong team. Yes – Coach Berry has done an outstanding job of molding young baseball stars. Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Our young team has both these qualities combined with phenomenal grit. The future is golden.
Christina Pierce is the publisher at Hattiesburg Publishing, which produces The Pine Belt News and Signature Magazine.