Defining the Common Goal

No matter the size of your team, there is a common theme to team building that drives the success of winning organizations. Every member of your team MUST be invested in doing their job to the best of their ability to achieve the Common Goal!

When building your team, you will uncover talent from all types of backgrounds, beliefs and philosophies. Whether everyone gets along or not, it’s imperative that each INDIVIDUAL come together and put aside personal or professional issues.

As a member of the 1998 NFC Atlanta Falcons, I was part of a team that epitomized the pursuit of excellence. Every player and coach bought into the Common Goals set forth by our leader, Coach Dan Reeves.

There were teammates I had zero personal relationships with off the field and some could be adversaries during a week of practice. The unique violent nature of our work environment kept us butting heads, perpetually building animosity towards each other. When our work day was complete we went our separate ways, lived our personal lives and reconvened the next day to engage in combat.

Despite our differences, the team Coach Reeves built that season was a blended roster of 53 players that believed in the Common Goal. Every individual was tasked to do his job and fight TOGETHER for the cause – putting all conflicts and individual differences aside when it came time to perform on game day.

Even though we were winning, it wasn’t a walk in the park that year. There were individuals that made it clear they weren’t fully engaged in following the process. Their actions proved they didn’t have the discipline needed to be a part of the organization. Coach Reeves acted swiftly, and they were quickly removed and replaced on the roster. By season end, the players that showed their commitment accomplished the goals set back in training camp.

We defended our home field and won every game in the Georgia Dome that season, finishing with a 14-2 regular season record and one of the two top seeds in the playoffs. The reward of all the hard word and focus culminated in the Falcons competing in Super Bowl XXXIII. We came up short in our mission of winning the big game but the lessons I learned during that season have stayed with me. I am personally proud of what I accomplished as an individual that season but even more proud of what WE accomplished as an organization. It was a true testament to what can be achieved when everyone is driving toward the Common Goal, one for all and all for one!

When building your team, be sure to set clear objectives that are bought into by the entire team!