Six Traits of Winning Teams

When everything is going great, leadership never seems to be an issue. But when things are going badly, leadership issues come to the forefront. This is especially true in sports where every year, teams are judged harshly on their performance even if they have won championships in the past. In my opinion, this is especially true in Philly and New York. When the teams are winning, everything is rosy but when the ship is sinking (as in the Philadelphia Eagles who are 3-9 this year), there is a constant analysis of what is wrong. As a result, leadership and what makes a winning team comes under intense scrutiny.

Does this sound like mortgage origination? One year you can be a hero and the next, a villain.

Leadership is one of those nebulous terms which is often mentioned but seldom defined. Joel Fish, director of Sport Psychology in Philadelphia, says that a leader is more than being the highest-paid player on a team. It is someone who commands respect, serves as a role model, is reliable and dependable, reinforces positive habits, refocuses the team’s attention by providing perspective and who can effectively reprimand teammates. From an owner’s perspective, the most important thing is to ensure that the right person is selected to convey the message to the troops.

So, is having the right leadership all that is needed to create a winning team? According to Fish, there are actually six traits of a great team: (1) talent, (2) chemistry, (3) coaching, (4) mental toughness, (5) motivation and (6) leadership. He says, “If you have leaders and you don’t have those other five traits, you are not going to get results.”

In the case of the Eagles, it appears they have the leadership (or so say the owners). They are just not making plays and as a result, they are losing games. What is missing are the other five traits. The number one issue is lack of talent. Better players generate better results. Drafting players is just as important as how they are coached.

It seems to me that mortgage banking is facing similar issues. Business is good now. Low interest rates and wide margins make for fantastic results. But when 81% of production is re-finance driven, the day of reckoning is around the corner.

The critical question is: Do you have the sales talent in place to succeed in a more difficult interest-rate environment? If not, what are you doing today to correct it?