The Super Bowl is a cornerstone of American entertainment. For sports fans, that day in February means something special. Traditions, as varied as the teams’ fan bases, become a prominent part of the culture. While the Super Bowl may be seen merely as entertainment, it is also exemplary of organizational alignment. Open communication between team members empowers players to excel and push the boundaries of what’s possible. In an organization, a similar process should occur.
In football, the offense is at the heart of the game. But the offensive players cannot win alone. They need their defense. This was especially evident this year as the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Kansas City Chiefs had sustained many injuries in their offensive line, but they also developed practices that allowed them to succeed throughout the season. Ultimately, though, they didn’t win their final game. The Kansas City Chiefs lacked the experienced line-up that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had. They did, however, grow as teammates and players.
For Tampa Bay, going from a 5-7 record to being Super Bowl worthy was an incredible feat. Adding Tom Brady to the team as a quarterback could have been seen as a risk. He was new to the team, and not widely familiar with the other players. He would eventually be a critical part of why Tampa Bay won. A team is not just as great as the “A” players; everyone is essential. Without the skills demonstrated by Tampa Bay’s defense, winning the Super Bowl may not have been as easy.
Both teams were aligned to mission and vision, allowing themselves to make mistakes and then evolve from those mistakes. Comparatively, incorporating organizational alignment into your business also leads to success. The “A” players are not all who make up an organization. Empowering employees to make creative mistakes and learn from them is what outstanding leadership does. Some games will be lost along the way. That is part of the journey.
Ensuring everyone is on the same page involves open and honest communication. What are the roadblocks? How can they be solved? In essence, figuring out what does and doesn’t work. Your team now has a growth mindset.
Employees and leadership should work towards a common goal with enthusiasm and purpose. The work is not monotonous; it inspires. It drives every team member to hold him or herself and others accountable, resulting in greater personal and joint responsibility. The work invites every individual to excel and for team members to contribute whatever skill set they may have, producing greater teamwork overall.
Imagine what your organization would be like if it operated at its full potential. What would that look like, feel like, operate like? What could happen?