Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions

The Secret of Winning Teams

Winning teams never lose. They win or they learn.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden achieved a feat that may never be duplicated. At UCLA he won an astonishing 10 NCAA basketball championships in a 12 year period including 7 in a row! Let’s put this in perspective. No other coach has won more than 2 consecutive NCAA championships.

In the corporate world, there are teams that just win. And win. And win just like a Wooden coached team. What’s their secret?

It comes down to one main focus: Growth.

Winning teams never lose because they are always growing. Even when they fail, they learn. They adapt. They try. They fail. They try. And they keep repeating that process, all the while growing through the changes, until they find the winning formula.

So how can you spot a growing team? Look for these traits.

Growing teams…

Have team members who play to their strengths.

Every member spends at least 70% of their time completing tasks they are both good at and enjoy doing.

Set their own standards of excellence.

They live and perform beyond ordinary by always delivering a little extra to add value beyond what was requested of them.

Develop new, growing leaders.

Leadership is valued, modeled, and shared and this creates a natural incubator of future leaders.

Have a winning attitude.

There are some people in life who make us laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better. Winning teams are where these people work.

Stretch team members out of their comfort zone.

Just like firefighters who go running into a fire, members of winning teams go running into the chaos because they know that’s where the magic truly happens.

Have an abundance of “make-a-positive difference” people.

Every team experiences failure. What sets growing teams apart is they seize the endless opportunities to make a positive difference from the failures they experience.

Regard problems as opportunities bulging with unmet needs.

When confronted with problems and challenges, growing teams know the questions they ask signal whether they are an obstacle to the solution or a contributor to the resolution. They always focus on solutions.

Attract and retain better talent.

You are who you attract, and growing teams attract growing people.

Recognize change as the great enabler of success.

As John Maxwell says, people change for 3 reasons:

  • When they hurt enough that they have to
  • When they learn enough that they want to
  • When they receive enough that they’re able to

And that’s why growing teams know change is the great enabler for success.

Have leaders who expect and model growth.

When the leader grows, so grows his team. As Patrick Lencioni said, “As a leader, you’re probably not doing a good job unless your employees can do a good impression of you when you’re not around.”.


Apple. NASA. Google. Stryker Corporation. These are companies that are driven by winning teams. Now that you know what the secret to their success is, what other tips, tools, and strategies have you used to create high impact teams in your organization? Please share them in the comments below.

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