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Biz Sage: Tom Landry on Team-building

“I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field to play a good game.”

– Tom Landry

How did someone like former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry not believe in team motivation? First, lots of motivational-speak come across as insincere. People know insincerity when they hear it, and motivational pep talks can often backfire.

Landry believed that by preparing a team with knowledge and resources, the team can become self-motivating. The team will have confidence and know it can be successful. What more motivation would a team need?

But this preparation needs to be thorough. For a football team, that means practising key moves needed to complete a play and having an updated play book that puts the right plays at the team’s disposal. Players need to be in shape and well-rested. The team needs to consist of the right combination of players, and the administrative staff need to know their roles as well. Owners need to be willing to pay out a large sum of money to capture key players to fill out the roster.

Give your team what they need to win. Whether it is technological resources, additional team members, or seminars to build skill levels, your team must feel like they are prepared to win. If you don’t know what they need, ask. And when they tell you, listen.