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It’s the start of football season and of course there surprises. On September 11 there were at least three prominent big conference teams beaten by lower division teams. In the NFL, there were similar surprises.

Here in Seattle the newspapers had been full of headlines and articles about how bad, disorganized and in trouble the team was. The team had a lot of new players, appeared to have some of the same holes and the last couple years and had released some prominent players including their top free agent signing from 2009 which caused them eat about $6,000,000 in salary (attitude issues?).

What they, apparently, failed to notice was that there was a method to the madness, at least through one game. The team has set a tone of we’ll do what it takes even if it means releasing big names and eating salary. The coach is very upbeat and appears to have convinced the players to buy-in to his systems and style.

Isn’t that what we want in business? We want buy-in from management, employees and customers. We want to have a team that is like the Three Musketeers, “All for one and one for all.” There are a lot of analogies between sports and business. This is one of the most powerful ones. Often talented teams don’t win the game because it’s a collection of individuals not playing together. Often teams realize that poor performance is related to poor team chemistry more than to skill levels. When they change the chemistry in the locker room it carries over to the field and performance improves.

The same happens in business when people protect their own turf, are given ambiguous direction or are badgered and verbally abused instead of encouraged. So here are three tips on how on how a small business can build teamwork and good chemistry.

1. Have a strategy and know the tactics needed to implement the strategy.
2. Share the strategy, goals and objectives with your team.
3. Set the tone that bad attitudes won’t be accepted and encourage your team with positive reinforcement.

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