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Coaching Tips

The Thing That Will Kill Any Team

Casey Stengel, who managed the New York Yankees to seven World Series titles, said, “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.”

Stengel knew that just one or two players can poison a whole group. That applies to any team, whether it’s in an office or on the field.

Decades after Stengel’s death, CEO Liz Ryan comes at the issue from a different direction in an article called “Why Don’t My Employees Care?”

Ryan, founder of Human Workplace, answers a question from a business leader who wonders why his workers aren’t motivated even though the company is doing well.

“Why,” replied Ryan, “should they care about your win? They care about their own win. That’s why you’re seeing the energy level in your company drop. Once the victory is yours and not theirs, why should anyone get excited about it any more?”

This is the one thing that will kill any team: a lack of connection.

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike,” said author J.K. Rowling.

Some people will argue that workers are getting paid to do a job, and that the pay alone should make them care. Sounds great, but it doesn’t work. Workers are human, and humans like to feel a sense of connection and meaning.

William James, father of American psychology, said that the deepest human need is to feel appreciated.

So whether you’re a CEO or the manager of a baseball team, if you want a group that is engaged, make each member feel valued. This, of course, is much harder than it sounds. Not everyone can be in the starting lineup, so some people may be unhappy with their playing time. Jealousies can arise. This makes it even more vital for leaders to outline why each person can make a contribution.

Said entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash, “Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate it, don’t keep it a secret.”

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. While you’re here, please check out other articles to help you reach your potential.

You can find tons of coaching tips in “Ten Things Great Coaches Know.”

How to Survive Your Sports Season” is an invaluable resource to help you with the highs and lows of practice and competition.

To improve at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Champions Turn Practice into Success.”

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” for a story or a quote to lift your spirits.

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