Why teams fail

It is no secret that I have a massive passion for baseball. I love the Yankees my love for the Yankees is matched only by my equal hatred of all things Red Sox. I rejoice when the Yankees succeed and when the Red Sox wallow in abject failure. I got as excited the last game of the season in which the Red Sox were ultimately eliminated from the playoffs, as I have for any game 7 World Series game involving the Yankees. In the aftermath of that Historic failure I came across an article that described the collapse in detail. It got me thinking that and I think there is something we can learn from their failure.

I thought it would be fun and insightful to take a look at some of the leadership principles that lead to the historic collapse of the 2011 Red Sox.

Why do teams fail? Because of a lack of leadership. I am a huge believer in teams and team ministry, but as Maxwell says everything rises and falls on leadership. For a team to work at it’s best you need a clear leader who is strong and can guide his team through difficulties and challenges. If there is not a constant refocusing on vision and values, vision drift with take place and the focus of the team will drift. There needs to be effective leadership on every level of the organization if your team is going to thrive.

Leadership errors
The gift of leadership also eluded Adrian Gonzalez. On the field, Gonzalez’s overall production was superb, but he provided none of the energy or passion off the field that the Sox sorely needed

Teams fail when the focus of the team drifts and people lose sight of their goal. When teams don’t know why they are doing what they are doing they don’t execute the small things. They don’t stick to the fundamentals. You as the leader need to help them connect the small seemingly insignificant dots so your team will be able to see the big picture.

Commitment lacking
By all accounts, the 2011 Sox perished from a rash of relatively small indignities. For every player committed to the team’s conditioning program, there was a slacker. For every Sox regular who rose early on the road to take optional batting practice, there were others who never bothered. For every player who dedicated himself to the quest for a championship, there were too many distracted by petty personal issues.

Teams fail when they become self focused. The most damaging side effect of vision drift for a team is self-centeredness. People don’t see the big picture they don’t buy into the larger purpose and they begin to ask what’s in it for me. When that happens it’s over you will never do individually what you could do together. If you don’t care for the people on your team and they are just a means to and ends or if they are just there to support your gift, you will always be ineffective as a team. It might be best for you to buy a dell move into your mom’s basement and write code for a living, just say’n.

Growing ineffectiveness
Francona, who mutually parted with the Sox after the season, has been careful not to criticize individual players. He generally downplayed the pitchers’ drinking in the clubhouse, but he left little doubt that their absence from the dugout reflected a lack of dedication to the team.

Beckett, Lackey, and Lester did not reply to messages left on their phones and with their agents.

“The guys that weren’t down on the bench, I wanted them down on the bench,’’ Francona said last week in a contractual appearance on WEEI. “I wanted them to support their teammates.’’

If you lead a team or are part of a team. Lead be a strong leader your team and your organization needs you.  You can read the article here. 

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