In the Huddle: Are you playing for the TEAM?

36TrWe’ve all probably heard the acronym: Together Everyone Achieves More, and the phrase: There’s no “I” in team.

I was thinking about this when I watched a special (on the NFL Network) about the Miami Dolphins, under Coach Don Shula in the early 1970’s. They worked hard together as a team and coach Shula worked them harder and longer than their previous coach.

On November 18, 1973 Miami played at Buffalo. At that time, OJ Simpson (yes, that OJ Simpson) was on the Bills and was out to break the record of rushing for 2,000 yards. The players on the Dolphins noticed that the focus of OJ’s team was to help him reach that record. Their focus, however, was to win the game.

OJ ran for 120 yards that game, contributing to his record, but his team lost the game.. The Dolphins won the game in a shut out 17-0. The Bills went 9-5 that year. OJ did hit the record with 2003 rushing yards. They didn’t even make the playoffs. The Dolphins went12-2, won in the playoffs, and took home the Vince Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl VIII.

Following a Super Bowl win, there are so many endorsement and other opportunities for the entire team. Everyone gets a ring, everyone share in the celebration, the glory, and the rewards. The Bills got none of them – not even OJ.

In reminiscing on his years at Miami under Don Shula, Fullback Larry Csonka (“Zonk”) said if there was anything that he could relive it would be those 5 seconds in the huddle looking into the eyes of his offensive linemen and feeling the strength of their commitment. It was “we will do whatever it takes to get you in the end zone.”

I love when that team commitment is palpable.

There is a different feeling when you play for an individual than when you play as a team. A focused team heads towards a common goal with a high level of commitment. I feel this team feeling with my referral team. When I look into the eyes of Gail Nott, or Brian Ripley, or Cyndee Paulson-Heer, I feel that team feeling and commitment. They are doing the equivalent of that Miami Dolphin Offensive Line of blocking, tackling, and doing whatever it takes to get me in the end zone – for the team. We promote, invite, refer, and connect at a high level to get Super Bowl result in our businesses. We play as a team and celebrate our successes together.

Who’s in the huddle with you? Do you have committed team players or are you working on an individual goal that won’t even get you to the playoffs? Who’s on your referral team?


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