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Having a Winning Quarter? Quit While You’re Ahead

Few coaches are willing to quit mid-way through a season because their team has a winning record. Winning a championship, while exciting, does not signal the end of the team’s practice schedule.
Winning, in a sports context, does not require less training, but more.
Applying Sport to Business
Business leaders love to reference sports moves or analogies as they apply to creating a winning sales team or moving into a new industry.
We should take note of what winning sports teams do when they are winning. They keep training, they push harder, they don’t rest on their current success.
The same standard can be applied to business. Regardless of how successful the business has become, maintaining that edge can only be done through continued goal setting and professional development.
During a 12-year span, Coach John Wooden led his UCLA basketball team to 10 National Championship titles. In doing so, he set the standard for great coaches and went on to establish a “Pyramid for Success” to help others learn the secrets he used to propel his team to greatness.
We’re Already Winning
Perhaps your company is already a success. You may be experiencing record-breaking sales figures, have teams that work strategically and effectively like a well-oiled machine, and have in place a cultivation program that continually produces leaders from within your organization. If so, congratulations!
You should be commended for the work and effort it has taken to get to that stage of the game. It doesn’t, however, reduce the need for ongoing goal setting and development training. In fact, you may find that as your team becomes more successful, they need additional, higher-level training to maintain the edge they’ve established.
Will Training Benefit High Performing Teams?
According to a recent Gallup study, it is easier to raise employee performance by focusing on strengths rather than trying to improve on their weaknesses.
In other words, by focusing on what the team already does successfully, an organization can experience even greater growth than if they merely focused on weak areas. For the business leader at the helm of a successful team, this should be an encouragement to offer even more training.
Evidence shows that educating a team on their strengths can lead to an 8% increase in productivity. Teams that focus on their strengths demonstrate a 12% higher productivity rate than their counterparts.
Equally as compelling, individual employees that work with their strengths every day are less likely to seek employment elsewhere and are 6% more engaged at work. Imagine the impact on your revenue with a sales team that had an increase of 12% productivity!
When success is achieved, it is not a time to cut back on training, it is a time to lean into the idea that your team can reach even greater heights with continued training.
Why Continue to Train?
Even winning sports teams continue to train in an effort to minimize mistakes, and capitalize on the dynamic relationship that each team member has with the others.
Repetition breeds consistency. The more practice one receives on processes or procedures, the more it becomes ‘second nature’ and becomes part of the routine of how things are done.
Training reveals ways to improve. As a team becomes proficient in their processes, new methods or systems can be identified that may streamline workflow or reduce lag time, further improving the process.
Training increases support for one another. The success of a team can depend on the level of support it gets from others within the organization. Training presents another opportunity for team members to support one another and provides an avenue for employees to see (and understand) what goes on in other areas of the business. This can lead to reduced friction, improved communication, and increased revenues.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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