Culture and Values; Why the Dallas Cowboys are Winning in 2016

There are many reasons the Cowboys are having an outstanding year, but a large part of their success is due to Culture and Values.  If you listen to local sports radio, you have been bored to death of Head Coach Jason Garrett talk about “process” and getting the “right kind of guys” on the football team, but his consistency and persistence are paying off big time this year.

How are they doing it?

Think about it, how does a team that only won three games last year win eleven games in a row this year?  With a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back?  Their defense must have a lot more play-makers this year, right?  Wrong! One could argue that there was more talent on the defense last year.  There were certainly more known, proven players. Their offensive line must have more talent this year, right?  Wrong!  Better coaches?  Wrong again.

Football coaches will tell you that it is either the X’s and O’s or the Jimmies and Joes, but there is something else going on here.  That something has to do with Culture and Values, and it is vital to team chemistry and performance.  You have all probably read (or at least heard of) Good to Great by Jim Collins.   In this book, Collins introduced the concept of getting the right people on the bus, getting the wrong people off the bus, making sure that the right people are in the right seats, and having the discipline to stick to your process. The “right” people are those who will embrace and embody your Core Values and live your Culture.

At the beginning of the 2015 season the Cowboys were coming off their best year in recent memory.  The GM had added some absolute beasts on defense, and expectations were high.  Unfortunately, these extremely talented players (I won’t name names) were not the “right kind of guys” for this football team.  Team chemistry plummeted and so did results.  Those players are no longer on this team – they made sure they have the “right” people on the bus (even if they had less natural ability), and team chemistry, performance, and results are at record levels. As Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix said, “Do not tolerate brilliant jerks. The cost to teamwork is too high.”

How do YOU do it?

So how do you make sure you have the right people on the bus and in the right seat?  Do you have a person in your organization that destroys morale and teamwork?  Are you tolerating a “brilliant jerk”?In his excellent book, Traction, Gino Wickman introduced an brilliantly simple tool he calls the People Analyzer™.  You can get a free copy of the tool here.  If you need suggestions for using the tool, we would love to help.  If you would like a free – no obligation or sales calls – evaluation of your core values, click here to complete a brief survey.  As always, your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated.

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