Pat Riley on Teamwork

Pat Riley on Teamwork

Pat Riley’s astute comments* on the definition of teamwork as it applies to sports illustrate why I focus so much on building trust in my team building workshops:

Teamwork is the essence of life. And teamwork is an interactive relationship, whereby all of us are either hired or brought together for whatever reason to get a result. It is the essence of life in family. It is the essence of life in sports. And it is the essence of life in business. In order to be successful as a group of people the dynamics of being a team are all the same, with the exception that you are jumping off a different platform – probably from a different industry. But really, the principles are the same. People have to come together for the common good.

The only way you are ever going to do that is through trust. It’s even more than belief. Belief just isn’t enough. You simply have to get to a point where you trust one another – in their motives, in their approaches, in their games, in their idiosyncrasies, and their personalities, and what they bring to the table – and not be judgmental as a coach, or a teacher, or a parent.

No student, no player, no child will ever let you coach, parent, or teach them unless they trust that you are absolutely sincere, competent, and reliable. They are smart enough to see that. If your intentions as a coach or a teacher or a parent are nothing less than sincere, because you want to get something out of it yourself instead of what’s in the best interest of the person, then they won’t let you. They will sort of punch the clock with you.


*Excerpt from an interview by Coach & AD’s Kevin Newell