|English: Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson 1997 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Being selfless is a concept which is usually not taught in schools, although life here and there brings those lessons to us. An NBA couch has used principle of team connectedness through a concept of selflessness, a concept where team's success is more important than individual success.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson—by percentage (.738) the winningest coach in NBA history—is renowned for his ability to turn megastars into team players. And his secret is spiritual. “The most effective way to forge a winning team,” he writes in Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, “is to call on the players' need to connect with something larger than themselves.” Blending principles from Zen Buddhism and the teachings of the Lakota Sioux with his experience from over twenty years as a professional player and coach, Jackson led Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive titles not once, but twice, from '91 to '93 and '96 to '98. Then he did it yet again with the Lakers and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, from '00 to '02. Before Jackson arrived, both the Bulls and the Lakers were teams that, despite the presence of breathtaking talent, had failed to achieve the harmony needed to win championships. Yet under his guidance, schooled in his characteristically unselfish, team-oriented style, they went on to record-breaking success.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. --Andrew Carnegie
The coach believes that when players work together, special kind of energy is being released which could be compared to powerful group intelligence, which is much greater than what coach can come up with and each individual player can do. Phil Jackson explains that when a player puts self-interests aside for greater good, he maximizes his capabilities which would not manifest if he would only act on his own. The outcome of such approach functions like everybody in the team heightens the capabilities of each member of the team making those abilities much higher than they could be on its own.
It appears that players can instinctively sense what other members of the team are going to do before they actually make the move, so they can get ready and either assist that effort or position themselves to better take advantage of the current situation.
Coach compares fingers of one hand to this team connectedness which know what other will do when some task is being performed.
The selflessness is the soul of teamwork.
In order to create such team effort, one has to reward situation when members of the team act selflessly and not controlled by big ego.
Well, one has to demonstrate that if a person does this, they're rewarded for it, because the team succeeds. The fact is, selflessness is the soul of teamwork. We have a practical rule in our game: when you stop the basketball, when it resides in your presence and you hold it for longer than two counts, you've destroyed our rhythm. When the ball is in your hands, you become the focal point. And when you become the focus, our system breaks down. It's that simple. Suddenly the defense can catch up, and the spacing is destroyed. So it's the unselfish players—players who are more interested in reading what's happening and keeping the flow going on the floor—who are the most valuable players that you have. They may only be averaging seven points a game, four points a game, or whatever, but their ability to play in a selfless manner gives the team its real opportunities. In those individuals, the power of we instead of me is more advanced. They feel more responsibility to the group, and that's why you're better off with maybe two very, very talented and perhaps selfish people on the team than five or six or seven. That's why teams that are less talented but more selfless and group-oriented can have more success. You might say the San Antonio Spurs were a successful team last year because of that ability that they had. The Bulls were a very successful team because of that ability. And the Lakers, when I first started watching them in the late nineties, were not successful—even though they were very, very talented—because they couldn't do that.
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