A Winning Team

The outstanding performance of the American women’s soccer team brought every one of us jubilation, honor, and pride. It was a feat of dedication, perseverance, and stamina in the face of adversity, as our team faced incredible international talent in an unfamiliar host country. There have been many blogs and stories written about the team and their coach, and there may even be a movie deal in the works.

My contribution to the chorus of commentary is not about the politics involved or the issues with unfair pay compared to the men’s team (who, incidentally, did not win against Mexico). Instead, I’d like to talk about the importance of unity within a team. The American women accomplished their singular goal (pun) thanks to the incredible vision of their leader and coach, Jill Ellis. Without her tutelage and constant planning for what this team could accomplish, they would not have gone as far as they did. Success begins at the top. Thanks to the talent of the athletes, the execution of their coach’s plans went without failure. This is not to downplay the achievements of the previous three winning teams or their players, of course. To be able to combine huge individual talents and march through obstacles and adversity takes an immense group effort, and everyone has to have the same focus, energy, and understanding.

In the world of business we applaud groups, companies, and teams that not only win, but rise to the challenges set before them. We all love an underdog, but we really enjoy winners. The New England Patriots, Amazon, and AT&T are all winners because of their leadership and the ride-or-die attitude of their respective teams. I myself am inspired by groups that bring a collective together from many different origins, paths, and environments, and are able to mold them into a successful plan of action. Look at General Eisenhower and his defeat at Kasserine Pass. From that failure he gained new perspective on his troops and the leadership within, and was able to construct a strategy from their true strengths and implement it into a winning formula.

What is it within your own company that is not helping you move toward continued success? What plans of action are you taking to foster a winning strategy with your team? How are you becoming a team rather than just a group of individuals?

Ken’s haberdashers all have mantras that have been handed down for decades. We start with the simple questions of “why we are here?”, “what are the ultimate goals?”, and “how can we always be stepping forward?”, and then reapply our understanding with mindsets of “be better than yesterday”, “tomorrow is today”, and “be here, be now”. To challenge ourselves and our teams, we all must re-examine the cogs of the wheels to make sure they still provide adequate support, and can work to supply the necessary strength.

Jill Ellis and her American team did this, and gave us a showing that we will not forget for some time.

Our haberdasher’s hats are off to these women.

Kory Helfman

Dallas Haberdasher

Ken’s Man’s Shop

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