Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This is the acronym, which is used in the book One Minute Millionaire from Hansen/Allen. It stipulates the important role that every individual plays in the team.


This weekend I saw some excellent examples of team work (or the lack of it) in the world of sports.

First there was Denis Menchov cycling in the last time trial of the Giro d’ Italia. He was clearly in the lead when one kilometer before the finish he fell due to the rain and the slippery road. This was an incredible event, after cycling for three weeks and so close to the finish. Would he now miss  his victory? Well, I froze at watching this on the tv and the commentators were astounded as well. But, there was one guy who did not freeze, actually he took immediate action. It was the mechanic from the Rabobank team. When the car in which he was following Menchov stopped, he jumped out of it, took a new bike from the roof and offered it to Menchov. Then he put Menchov on the bike and pushed him as hard as he could to catch some speed again. Menchov had no time to worry and proceeded to the finish and… He won the entire tour! I would say that he won thanks to the clearness of the mechanic. He took immediate action and was crucial in his role. Without his clarity and action, Menchov would not have won. The mechanic was an indispensable part of the team.


Another example of team play was during the ceremony for Bloemendaal, the winners of the European Hockey League. The captain of that team is Teun de Nooijer, one of the best hockey players in the world. He waited when his whole team took the stage to receive the cup and the medals. He looked at the back of the stage and at the front to make sure that everyone (players, trainers, medical staff etc) was on the stage. When that was okay, he stepped up the stage as well and was handed the cup. As a leader he clearly took care of the complete team and ensured that everyone was involved and nobody was forgotten.


A third example was an interview that I read with Andy van der Meyde, once a famous football player from Ajax and now playing for Everton. In the interview he talked about a very difficult period in his life during which his newborn daughter was seriously ill. She was so ill that she frequently could not sleep and she completely had to been taken care of 24 hours per day. Of course this had a negative impact on his physical and mental condition. His performance was not at the highest level and sometimes he even went to the training without getting any sleep during the night. But his manager was not interested in his personal situation and criticized him a lot. He took him out of the team and he barely played any matches. Apparently the manager was not open to understanding Andy’s personal challenges.


So, what can we learn from these events? What is crucial for teams to perform at the highest levels?


  1. All roles are equally important in the team. All team players have to perfectly play their own part. Everyone’s role should be equally appreciated.
  2. The leader has a caring role. He/She makes sure that everyone is enabled to play his/her role in tune with his or her goals and strengths.
  3. The personal and professional lives of all team players cannot be separated. Managers and leaders should also understand the personal motivations as well as the challenges of the players in the team.


Only then Together Everyone Achieves Miracles!






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