YKK Stories

2019-09-23 Issue 115 – Fundamental Behavior 13 – Be a team player

September 23, 2019
Author: YKK
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I love sports!  I grew up playing team sports and learned valuable lessons that can be applied to life after sports, especially in the workforce.  Team sports shaped who I am today as an employee.  I’d like to share my experiences related to #13 BE A TEAM PLAYER:

(1) Training, practice and discipline.  Athletes go through weeks of training and conditioning prior to the season’s first game.  Team players put in hard work and effort to develop skills, learn new plays (processes) and become disciplined.  The same concept applies to work.  We cannot be a successful team player in our position without the proper training, practice and discipline.  Keep in mind, teams train and practice all season.  This means for us in the workforce, training, practice and discipline is continuous no matter the years of experience.

(2)  Do not fear failure.  Learn from mistakes.  Build confidence.  This past game day weekend I watched quarterbacks throw interceptions, receivers drop key passes, kickers miss winning field goals, and etc.  Mistakes are opportunities for practice, improvement and growth.  These athletes will practice more throws, catches and kicks until the skill is perfected and the confidence is restored.  As team players, let’s practice to correct our mistakes and minimize errors, turnovers and penalties that ultimately impact our customers.

(3) “Do your job” – Nick Saban, Alabama football coach OR “Do your part” – John Smith, YKK USA President.  As a team player, we must all do our part for the greater good of the team.  Do not be concerned or distracted by what others are doing but do your job.  Stay focused.  Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs cannot gain yardage without the lineman blocking and doing their job.  We have a tremendous amount of responsibility to our customers so we must all do our part as team players.

(4) Thrive in competition.  One of the most admirable traits of an athlete and team player is the ability to perform under pressure.  Performing under pressure takes what I call mental toughness.  Tom Brady immediately comes to mind when I think of a team player with mental toughness.  Brady’s performance in Super Bowl 2017 is arguably one of the greatest comebacks in football history.  So when the tough gets going, do you sink or swim?  Do you welcome a challenge and step up to the plate or do you complain, point fingers or make excuses?

(5) Be flexible.  Team players have to be flexible.  If a strategy isn’t working, teams must make adjustments at half-time or during the game.  Be ready to adjust and embrace change.  If we are struggling in our work and do not adjust or change, our competition will beat us.

(6) Attitude and character.  The greatest athletes choose to #25 BE POSITIVE and overcome adversity.  Team players with character and integrity do not cheat or take shortcuts because those actions will lead to consequences.  Team players exhibit good sportsmanship and treat others with respect.

Notice I did not mention anything about physical ability or strength.  Being an athlete and team player is mind over matter and you can choose your mind set.  Choose to be a team player.  Remember, no one likes ball hog or a sore loser!

Lisha D’Emilio
Vice President of Finance
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.