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Mayes Wilson & Associates

March madness and the value of assists

Sara Wilson, CPCC, ACC |

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

It’s that time again – March Madness – and for basketball fans it’s a big deal that becomes the focus of conversations and life. For others it’s “meh.” Anyway, I was talking with a client recently and our conversation came around to Assists*.  As a former girls’ basketball team manager, memories flooded back about the person on the team who provided “assists” and how valuable they were.

Winning on the scoreboard isn’t just about the person getting the ball in the bucket or across the goal line. The people on the team who are assisting are “force multipliers” and they can be overlooked and underappreciated. What the heck does this have to do with organizations, teams, and leadership you may be thinking?

Invest in your teambuilding skills with a 10 minute reflection on these questions:

  1. How am I personally being successful?
  2. Who are my force multipliers? Am I acknowledging them?
  3. Am I creating space to give opportunity for anyone to assist or am I only utilizing one dimension (one person) of my team’s capacity?
  4. How am I playing the “assist” role in other people’s success?

Leadership is not always being in front, nor is it taking all the credit. Excellent leaders shine the light on those “force multipliers” that contribute to achieving your and the organization’s goals. Excellent are also “force multipliers” for others, supporting their success.

If you are a leader, you can’t accomplish everything single-handedly. If you are, or feel like you are, I’m happy to talk with you.

* Assists are an important statistic because of their direct relationship to points that are scored. A true assist is when a pass directly influences a made field goal. The more assists or shots that are made because of a good pass the more likely a team is going to win the game.

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