#FootballMentality #Teamwork #Motivation #CommitmentToExcellence #SharingIsCaring


Oct 2015

Teamwork Playbook #28: Turning “Me” Into “We”

by | Inspiration, Mental Performance, Motivation, Team Building, Tips

“The Vince Lombardi trophy only weighs 7.5 pounds, but it takes an entire organization to lift it.” ~Dick Vermeil, Head Coach, Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams

In my second year in the NFL, I was fortunate enough to win a Super Bowl with Coach Vermeil and the St Louis Rams. Known as the Greatest Show On Turf, our team transformed the football world with our fast-paced offense, hard working defense and electric special teams. To this day, I can still remember the first time I enjoyed the honor of holding those precious 7.5 pounds of NFL glory. Coach was right. It truly took the entire organization to make our championship dreams a reality.

In retirement, I travel around the world teaching organizations and individuals football-inspired secrets to high performance, team cohesion and extraordinary production in fiercely competitive environments. As a proud member of the only team in NFL history to go from the league’s worst record to a Super Bowl Championship the next season, I know first hand how quickly an organization can become extraordinary once they start executing the right strategies on a daily basis.

To help your journey towards building a championship team in your professional or personal life, here is a basic strategy learned during my NFL career that you can use immediately to start upgrading your squad.

In case you are unfamiliar with my NFL career, during my eight-years, I was fortunate enough to play with some of the greatest men to ever wear a helmet and cleats. During my Super Bowl season with the St. Louis Rams, notable players included:

  • Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver
  • Marshall Faulk, Running Back
  • Torry Holt, Wide Receiver
  • Orlando Pace, Offensive Lineman
  • Kurt Warner, Quarterback

From first hand experience, I can tell you that these guys were truly amazing players. Consistently dominant. Fiercely competitive. Extremely confident. On the field, they made the complex look easy. Special players that were not only the best performers on our team, but in the minds of our head coach and organizational management, believed their brands were strong enough to build our entire team around them for the future. In the NFL, these elite performers are called “franchise players”. In the current NFL, a few examples of franchise players are guys like Calvin Johnson (Lions), Aaron Rodgers (Packers) and JJ Watt (Texans).

But here’s the catch…

In the NFL, through free agency and the annual player draft, it practically guarantees that each of the NFL’s 32 franchises will have a few franchise players on their team. So why is it that so many of the NFL’s 32 franchises don’t win Super Bowls? The truth is, there are many reasons for team failure, but one of them has to do with the leadership abilities of its franchise players.

After watching franchise players operate on three different teams during my NFL career on a daily basis, I learned that there are three distinctive characteristics between franchise players who are extraordinary individual talents versus those who also find a way to elevate their entire team to Super Bowl levels of success. To save time, here are the three attributes of Super Bowl winning franchise players:

1. They set a daily example of what is required mentally and physically to perform at a championship level.

2. They openly share knowledge with teammates interested in improving.

3. They encourage and support other teammate’s success.

It was amazing. Seeing the best players on our Super Bowl winning team surrender to a team dynamic was a game-changer. It set the tone for our entire team and instantly eliminated excuses for lower-performing players (or coaches) to not do everything in their power to continually improve.

Now I have two questions for you:

1. Are you currently a leader, manager or employee who believes your professional or personal teams are NOT currently performing like they are capable of?

2. Do you honestly believe that with the proper strategy and coaching, your team(s) can improve and potentially exceed expectations?

If the answer is “yes” to either question, its time to get to work. Start by having an honest conversation with your team’s most productive players. Help them understand how important they are to team success by setting an example, sharing knowledge and remaining unselfish throughout the process. As your franchise players continue to grow, your entire team culture will shift dramatically and put you on a direct course for a “Super Bowl” victory.

Roland Williams is a NFL Super Bowl Champion, Team Building & Performance Expert, Author, Speaker, Trainer & Proud Dad x 3 who works with organizations and individuals strongly committed to excellence.

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