Team Chemistry Impacts 2016 World Series

They Believe (and so did we)

The Chicago Cubs have made the climb from the “bottom to the very top” –and, in my opinion, have a World Series winning team. You may not know this, but many of my family members live in Chicagoland. To say that we are excited for the week ahead is an understatement. It isn’t just hype. We all saw this coming over the past three years and have been talking about the rebuild for decades.

Chicago Cubs Opening Night

2016 Chicago Cubs Opening Night

Don’t believe that “Why” matters? Look at the Cubs. This team has a purpose beyond themselves. They see the impact on a franchise and their legacy will be legendary. They are playing for their teammates, their franchise, their families and an entire universe of Cubbies fans. Generations of fans who, may have wavered at times, but have always persevered. The “Why” matters to this team.

Team Chemistry is KING.

Guys in the clubhouse are close and they define “team.” There are no prima donnas who think they can carry a team all by themselves. Lots of teams, both in sports and in corporate, are chock-full of very competent athletes–yet haven’t made it to the top.  We have all witnessed that. It takes more than competency to win championships.

A team needs chemistry to bring out the best in everyone on a team. Team chemistry is the “secret sauce” of any championship team. Interview or talk to a championship team athlete and they will all tell you – that “this team” was something special.

Only LeBron James, The King, can carry a team flying solo. Although LeBron, being the true leader he is,exhibited behaviors and capabilities that allowed his team to “BELIEVE” too. Under his leadership, his teammates rose to the occasion and knew very good wasn’t good enough. They elevated their game behind the King. The Cavs’ success demonstrates how the right ‘management,” the right leaders, and President can team up to quickly turn around an organization – and lead it back to profitability. (I’ll save that blog post for basketball season.)

Culture of Success

Only one team can win a championship. What is the “anatomy” of that team? First, it has ownership that supports the organization. Second, it has outstanding leadership—and the owners let their leaders lead (that doesn’t always happen.) Third, leadership requests the management to put a team together that can win. Then, they then all work hard at setting the right tone, and create a winning culture.

Ask a championship player about their owners and leadership – they will tell you they supported us and created a culture that enabled us to be winners.

Define, Execute and Adjust

In April I said, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness a Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians World Series?” That’s exactly what we will get. It’s a dream come true for generations of Cubs and Indians fans. Cleveland Believes. And, the sun is certainly smiling on that city. The Cleveland Indians have had an incredible year thus far and the Chicago Cubs will not have an easy series. During both personal and business trips to Cleveland our team has commented about the cities excitement. It has been contagious. This year has been said to be the most memorable years in modern Cleveland history.

Two franchises with the longest World Series title droughts–a combined 176 years without a World Series Championship. There have been hearts broken, fans lost, legends and myths created during that time.  Why are both teams where they are now? Because they have recruited a team with perfect team chemistry. Both teams defined their goal, they executed a plan, and adjusted when it was necessary. Both teams show that for some, success isn’t overnight. But, it can be achieved with the right team — who define, execute and adjust.

Get It Right

Hopefully it doesn’t take your organization 108 years to get it right. If it feels like a century (or even a decade) since a winning season – let’s talk. It may be time to shift the deck chairs and secure top grade talent. You have to have a great recruitment strategy. Above all, you have to choose the right leader to lead the charge. You have to define, execute, and adjust your talent strategies consistently over time.

Back to the World Series…May the best team win!  I think you can guess where my allegiance lies. I will be cheering on the Chicago Cubs. My heart is with my family and in Chicago!

Let’s go Cubbies!  Let the last “W” be yours!

What leadership traits have you seen exhibited in the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians this year?

Share your thoughts with us. 


Photo Credit goes to my good friend, and unwavering Chicago Cubs fan, Josh Anderson.

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