11 February, 2016

How to Build the World's Best Sports Club

How to Build the World's Best Sports Club

Photo Credit: Roman Boed

If you were to build the world’s best sports club, what would it look like? Where would you start in terms of building that club? I would start by building a talented team that had the attitude to match the values of the club.

Recently, I have been reading books about successful people and organisations. I have watched a lot of videos about building successful teams and people. And this week I am immersed in elite sport at Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants AFL Club.

Now despite GWS being the youngest team (the 2016 season being their fifth season), they have created an amazing culture and will be successful – whether that is performance on the field or creating an organisation that empowers and develops the people within it. Next week, I will bring you a few more thoughts on my time here at GWS. But this blog will give some insights into building the world’s best sports club, something GWS is certainly working towards being.

High performance is a term that is thrown around sport with a relentless drive towards achieving results. Many believe that this requires resources, the latest technology and supplements and fancy training equipment. Whilst this is true in elite sport, it is nothing without purpose. In a previous blog, I have discussed the importance of purpose.

MindValley is a successful knowledge based company in Kuala Lumpar. They have seven steps to building a World best company that are directly applicable to building a World’s best sports club. Where high performance is an outcome, not the driver.

There are four things people want in life in order to reach fulfillment. A lack of fulfillment means that employees and volunteers look for other opportunities, staff turnover occurs and a team culture isn’t easily built. These four things are:

  • Growth – The desire to learn
  • Happiness – The ability to smile
  • Abundance – The ability to meet their basic needs
  • Meaning – Being able to contribute to a purpose

How to Build the World's Best Sports Club

So here are MindValley’s seven steps…

1. Attitude vs Skills

You need to hire for attitude and train for skills. If you recruit people with a great attitude then they will more likely help to create the culture you need to be a great organisation. Skills can be trained for. On the flipside, someone with the perfect skillset but a poor attitude will likely create unhappy and unproductive teams.

2. Know your bar of awesomeness

The bar of awesomeness is a line in the sand in terms of attributes you look for in employees in attitude, communication skills, presentation etc. It aligns to your organisations core values and purpose. So the people you hire must meet these standards you have set.

Don’t hire below this line, even if you are desperate for staff. By only hiring above the line the quality of your staff will become higher over time. Hire someone who doesn’t meet the bar of awesomeness at your peril!

3. Friends hire friends

If you have great people within your organisation then it is likely that they have great friends as well. So get your employees to help in the recruitment process. Even hold parties where staff invite their friends, to conduct recruitment. Everyone loves working with their friends, so it even helps with staff retention!

4. Create Happiness

As society has changed, our fast paced lives have led to more stress. Happiness at work becomes an essential part of retaining great staff.

Great work environments encourage fun and provide social support. Initiatives to bring in fun such as parties, culture days, fostering friendships at and outside of work through sports teams or interest groups, all contribute to a happy environment.

Additionally, flexitime is one of the greatest initiatives that enhances employee wellbeing. If you hire the right staff, then flexitime will be considered an opportunity rather than a risk.

5. Grow your staff and volunteers

You want your employees and volunteers to grow your organisation, so you need to put effort into growing them. Provide them with access to education opportunities, provide learning days where they can learn a new skill or learn from others within the organisation. Encourage their personal growth for overall organisational success.

6. Provide meaning

Humans are goal driven organisms. They need a purpose to provide meaning to their work so provide them with the big picture to inspire. If people are given a big project to solve then the little things become insignificant. This allows them to achieve greatness rather than mediocrity.

7. Deliver abundance

Abundance is more than money. This is why people volunteer or leave high paid jobs. They want to find a greater purpose. Abundance is related to significance. So make people feel significant in their role, provide appreciation, opportunities for growth and a meaning that is related to their personal life goals. This will provide a life of abundance for your employee.

We know that it is great people that make great organisations. But often organisations hire great people but don’t do enough to hold onto them. Imagine if your organisation implemented these seven steps, how productive and successful would it be? I believe it would be on its way to being the world’s best sports club.

This article is summarized from a great video I watched from MindValley called 'The Hackers Guide to Building a Great Start Up Culture'. Other Photo Credits are Xavier Verges and Milos Milosevic.

© 2019 Paul Mead