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Vail Valley: Lead a great team onto the field

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

“People who work together will win, whether it’s against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

– Vince Lombardi

It’s almost football season, and my excitement about cooler weather and the optimism of this time of year (go Broncos!) brought to mind the words above.



National Football League teams are pretty amazing organizations when you think about it. The winners exhibit an amazing phenomenon – management, staff and team all pull together and just get it done. It’s an incredibly hard thing to do. Think about how hard it is for a team to get to and achieve victory in the Super Bowl. It’s rare. Most teams never get there.

I really admire the teams that pull it off. It means that not only are the various entities of a winning organization capable of doing it, they actually, somehow, despite differences, disruptions, injuries, bad moments and seemingly bad decisions, pull it together, become one mind on a mission and triumph. To me that kind of victory far transcends the final win/loss record. The leadership and performance of every part of such an organization and everyone in it from players, to vendors, to trainers to the towel guys have to be in such harmony that they become absolutely unstoppable and totally capable of not only seeing the goal, but achieving it.



So today I want you to think about your team. I want you to think about what separates winners from the guys who finish in second place or farther down. It’s going to be different for all of you but I think there are some commonalties. Here are some things you may want to think about:

• Skills: Do your “players” have what it takes to win?

• Mission: Does everyone on your team (remember, we’re not just talking about the players on the field here) understand your goals and what it takes to achieve them?



• Investment: Does everyone on your team have some “skin” in the game?

• Reward: When you win, does everyone else?

• Value: Do you reward outstanding performance?

• Respect: Do you solicit and act on good ideas from your players?

• Education: Do you give your players the knowledge they need to help you win?

• Rest: Too much time on the field can break spirit and health.

• Correction: Not pointing out flaws can let the whole team down, but do it one to one and acknowledge it when performance improves.

• Innovation: To beat your competition you’re going to have to come up with new plays – remember, most of them have watched your game day tapes.

• Celebration: Make a big deal of great plays.

When you grab the reigns and drive the wagon, don’t be surprised if you get where you want to go. What you’ll find is proof of the old adage that “organizations take on the personality of the leadership.” If you think like a head coach in the NFL and emulate what winning organizations do, you can’t help but do better.

Your friends, family and loyal co-workers are very willing to help. Make sure you let them.

Event update:

Aug. 5: “Ask the Experts” Media Day, presented in conjunction with Colorado Mountain College, 5:30-7 p.m., Room 204 at the Edwards campus, Vail Valley Partnership members and college students only.

Aug. 13: “Success in :60 Seconds,” Outback Steakhouse, Avon, 8-9:30 p.m., Members only.

Aug. 18: “Partner 101,” Benefits Orientation, Vail Valley Partnership Offices, Traer Creek Plaza, Avon

Aug. 19: “Business After Hours” Mixer, Minturn Saloon, 5-7 p.m., Members only.


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