Last Updated: Feb 13, 2018
What makes a winning team? In sports and business it takes both good leadership and the interaction between team members. Here’s how the highest performing teams work.

Just like the England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, great teams not happen by accident. There has to be deliberate intention in investing in the team and a shared goal that is bigger than any one team member.

This week, sports fans, columnists, and analysts will debate the strengths and weakness of each team every minute of every day until Super Bowl LII begins Sunday. Depending on how the game goes and how decisive the victory, conversations will probably continue long after the last wn with arguts over which team had the strongest quarterback, the smartest coach or more speed in the back field.

Those details matter—on any team, each individual’s talent contributes to team —but the difference between winning and losing, between good and great, between the championship ring and a hollow-sounding “better luck next year,” is teamwork.

Great leadership is essenl and skilled players critil. But it is always the quality of their interactions that matter most. Over the years, I’ve studied hundreds of teams in multiple industries, including sports. And on each team I’ve taken zens of measurets, analyzed the data, and looked for patterns.  The highest performing teams across all organizations have identifiable traits and characteristics.

On extraordinary teams, team members have each other’s backs and are focused on team success. They put the team agenda ahead of any personal agenda and commit to work for a teammate’s success with as much energy and as they work for their own.

Tom Brady may be the best quarterback to ever ll a play, but he’s nothing if the offensive line lets him get crushed before he n spot his receiver or fire the pass. ug Pederson may be the nniest coach, but his genius is irrelevant if his players n’t execute. And that old trope about offense winning games and defense winning championships? All true and still, the best defense in the league is the one that works with ruthless efficiency, hands over the ball to their offense, and watches the rest from the sideline.

But most importantly, when things go south, as they always , the best teams talk about it.

The highest performing teams are:

 In business, the markers are not always as clear as numbers on a scoreboard after each quarter. And the timeframe is rarely as rigid. But the savviest business and wo know that however their team is performing today, they n be better tomorrow. The traits and characteristics of the highest performing teams n be learned and taught. They are as replible as they are identifiable. If are interested in having a Super Bowl winning team this year, take the following steps:

Linda Adams is a Leadership Developt expert and co-founder of the Trispective Group. She is the co-author of The Loyalist Team: How Trust, Candor, and Authenticity Create Great Organizations. For more information, or to take a free team snapshot assesst, please visit,

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