Championing teamwork in the workplace

This article was published in the September 2023 edition of NTEA News.

As a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan as well as a long-time Chicago Bears season ticket holder, I know I’m not alone in my excitement as the NFL kicks off its 2023–2024 season. Football and other sports give us something to rally around, and while we are all cheering for our favorite teams, it’s a great opportunity to draw inspiration from the playing field that can translate to our efforts in the workplace. Just as these high-level sporting organizations set their sights on the Super Bowl each year, they serve as an example of how teamwork can lead to triumph through successful team collaboration.

Communicating clearly
In both the workplace and football, effective communication is the lifeblood of a cohesive team. Just like a quarterback relaying instructions to teammates on the field, leaders must convey expectations and goals to ensure everyone is on the same page. Much like a football team huddles before a crucial play, effective communication clears any confusion and allows teams in the workplace to move forward with purpose.

Leveraging individual strengths
To achieve success, teams must embrace the diverse skillsets and talents of each member. In football, talents like a fast-wide receiver or a strong-defense lineman bring unique abilities to the field, contributing to the overall success of the team. Similarly, in the workplace, recognizing individual skills and allowing employees to shine in their respective roles fosters a collaborative environment. Harnessing the skills of each player helps create a well-rounded group that works together effectively.

Developing trust and collaboration
Establishing trust within a team is crucial for both sports and workplace success. Football teams trust their offensive linemen to protect their quarterback, knowing they will create opportunities for a touchdown, just as colleagues in the workplace trust each other to execute tasks efficiently. Team members rely on each other for support, allowing for smooth interactions, greater creativity and innovation.

Embracing agility
Sports teams face a variety of challenges, including injuries, weather conditions and sudden shifts in strategy by opposing teams. The same agility, adaptability and leadership required on the field are equally important in the workplace. Exceptional leaders utilize their experience and expertise to steer their team to victory. They remain flexible and adapt their plans as needed, all while effectively managing resources and guiding their team to achieve the ultimate goal.

Championing team spirit
While the start of a new season brings anticipation for fans, like me, across the nation, it also serves as a reminder of the power of teamwork in both sports and the business world. We can all find inspiration in the spirit of teamwork on and off the field. Whether it is winning an exciting football game or fostering a cohesive workplace environment, teamwork is integral to achieving remarkable outcomes.

Join us
On a final note, I hope to see you at NTEA’s upcoming events:

  • Executive Leadership Summit on Sept. 21, 2023 at Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth, Michigan (
  • Commercial Vehicle Upfitting Summit on Oct. 3–4, 2023 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio (