We all can think back over our lives to a winning sports team. Maybe it was 1984 when the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, or the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, or the Chicago Bulls in the mid-nineties or the Detroit Piston in their “Heyday” with with Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson, Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars coached by Chuck Daily.  Maybe we remember those victories because we remember the time in our lives and the people we were with watching those victories or we remember the stories like the University of Michigan basketball team winning the NCAA Championship when they were coached by the assistant coach, Steve Fisher because head coach, Bill Frieder, announced that he would be leaving for Arizona State University, near the end of the regular season and athletic  director at the time, Bo Schembechler announced that “a Michigan man will coach Michigan, not an Arizona State man” and that Frieder would no longer be coaching the team.  Fisher took his team led by the FAB 5 to the final 4 and eventually to a NCAA tournament Victory in April of 1989.  Or, think of University of Michigan head football coach, Bo Schembechler and his victories on the field.  Bo’s no nonsense style of coaching and athletic director,  Don Canham’s foresight, took college  football to Big Business and helped create rivalries with Woody Hayes of Ohio State and Notre Dame and who ever was coaching them.  Bo was all about “The Team, The Team, The Team” it WAS all about THE TEAM.  There would be no showboating when you score a touchdown, you were to act like you had done this before.  Bo had high standards for his players and the lessons he taught them followed them into their careers far beyond the years on the Wolverine field.

    As fans, we love being part of that team.  We sometimes wear the jerseys, plan parties and spend time watching, read up and have many discussion  about how the team is doing, who are the new recruits, who is new to the coaching staff and when in season, the sport is so much a part of our lives.  Sports are BIG Business when you think of paraphernalia, television viewership, food for tailgates and watch parties not to mention ticket sales.  Sports bring people together.  How many times have you struck up a conversation with complete strangers about a well known player or a team? I know people in my own family who get very emotional in front of a television over a bad call or a fantastic play.  It’s fun, it’s exciting and interestingly, we have absolutely NO control over what happens on the field, but we love being part of it…

    Soooo, What makes a winning team?  A good coach who is a leader and can motivate, players who will work hard and are more concerned about THE TEAM, like Bo said, rather than their own personal victory.   A good, well thought out plan to succeed, as well as a support system of assistant coaches and auxiliaries who help support the team, like families and fans as well as resources to succeed.  Think about it and think about the winning teams  you can remember, they have all of these components.

    How does that transpire to LIFE?  In thinking of winning sports team, it’s EASY to find lists of the BEST and most successful.  There are lots and lots of lists.  Winning in sports is easier than winning in LIFE.  It’s easy to win at a sport.  You assemble/pay for a good athlete, train them, teach them the plan and if the athlete is coachable and  has talent, chances are good that one will perform and have success.

To succeed in Life, begins by starting with how one defines success.  For some, it’s purely financial.  For others, it’s power (which sometimes come from monetarily succeeding), think the Emperors like Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Kings and Queens throughout history.  For others it is the success of their family and the relationships with extended family.  When you do a search of successful prominent families, many, not all, you are likely to find scandal.  These families had success but there was scandal or secretive dealing or inappropriate activity.  Look at the Royal Family of England.  Sometime, the more money someone has, the more problems they are likely (not always) to encounter. Maybe it’s the more one has the more distractions there are to staying on a good path. To succeed at a marriage, as a parent, in a career, with one’s finances, one’s health and to keep one’s Faith strong and live an honest and decent life is a tough balancing act.  When you look at it all, many of the qualities are inter-related.  Look at one’s Faith and moral values.  If one has a strong Faith and has good values, they are more likely to be a good spouse, set an example and raise good children and if they carry those values into their career and finances, chances are, they will encounter success.

    To have success in life, one needs to assemble a good team. That means a good head coach, a strong life partner/team, a good ‘coaching staff’, a well thought out plan and the resources to execute it.  Someone has to be the head of the family.  It’s hard to have too many chiefs.  Both spouses need to be on the same page.  Both roles are crucial to the success of the family/team, but someone needs to be in charge.  A staff of clergy, family doctor/ trusted medical professionals and a smart financial plan.  If there are children in the family, they need to be trained and instructed to be good citizens and good students no matter what they study or what area they choose to pursue.  And finally, a plan for everyone in the family to have success in their area of work/study.  Put all of that together, move along on the path and success no doubt will come.  Will there be some bumps in the road?  No doubt.  Each one of us has some trial and tribulation to over come.  No one said that life would be easy.  It’s not the storms we encounter but rather how we navigate them.  It’s how we handle the storm, trial or tribulation.  Those difficulties will be part of our life, however, they should NOT define us.  When you assemble a good team, together you absorb the shock, solve the problems and move on.  Success to each one of us is defined uniquely.  For some, it may be personal success, financial success, defined by family and relationships or a combination of many different qualities. A good coach/leader should be willing to change course if they should need to.  It’s fair to change directions when new information or a new obstacle requires it. Staying on the same path, doing the same thing and expecting different results, some define as ‘insanity.”  A good coach/leader realizes that they cannot do it all and sometimes delegating is required to get the right person in the right position for the success of the team.  A good coach/leader realizes that each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and put a difficult day behind them.  Each day, each practice is a chance to get better, stronger and smarter.  A good coach/leader instills this in their team and encourages rather than discouraging.

    A good coach/leader sets the bar and standards high and expects the team to pursue excellence daily rather than perfection, realizing that a long journey starts with just a few steps forward and pacing is important for success in the long haul.

    Assembling a winning team for a life time is not an easy task, but with good leadership, a well thought out and honorable plan, a team who has a good work ethic, supporting coaching staff and resources, anything is possible.  Imagine a world with many teams pursuing this plan…Can you imagine the leaders this would foster and the make-up of a population of people with these values?  WOW!  We can dream and work toward this goal, each and every day and look forward to a bright and promising future…It could be the start of many…Great Days 🥇