Most leaders tend to view teamwork as a social engineering problem: take x group, add y motivational technique and get z result. But working with the Bulls I’ve learned that the most effective way to forge a winning team is to call on the players’ need to connect with something larger than themselves. Even for those who don’t consider themselves “spiritual” in a conventional sense, creating a successful team – whether it’s an NBA champion of a record-setting sales force – is essentially a spiritual act. It requires the individuals involved to surrender their self-interest for the greater good so that the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
Yet even in this highly competitive world, I’ve discovered that when you free players to use all their resources – mental, physical, and spiritual – an interesting shifts in awareness occurs. When players practice what is knows as mindfulness – simply paying attention to what’s actually happening – not only do they play better and win more, they also become more attuned with each other.