I am not one of those that is into group hugs and evangelical ‘I believe’ motivational team moments, far from it. But I do, however, think that belief in itself is very important.

This does not include the naive, over optimistic belief (the kind seen in world cup football squads, such as Scotland, when they make chart topping records proclaiming how they are going to bring home the world cup to Edinburgh or Glasgow) this type of inane belief is more likely to bring about failure than to encourage success.

The belief that I like to witness and encourage reassures that something is possible. It is a belief that supports a plausible vision. 

Belief in the right measure can:

Motivate a naturally lazy person into putting in the extra effort required to support their fellow team players

Encourage people to learn new skills, enabling them to play a more active team role

Inspire open minded debate in an atmosphere of ‘there must be a way’

Encourage doubting bystanders into offering support and sponsorship

Supply the energy needed to see the team through the darkest moments of a tough program

But where does belief come from?

Philosophers and theologians have debated this question since time began. For me ‘belief’ is the acceptance of vision. It is what you feel when you have looked through a crack in a door and glimpsed a possible future or outcome. It is the understanding that through our actions and thoughts we can make a difference. In a team, it is the conviction that the collective is stronger than the individual. That what may seem impossible on our own, together somehow begins to make sense.

Some say there is no ‘I’ in team, but they are wrong – there is the most important ‘I’ of all:

“I believe that together we can do this” – “I believe that I can play a useful part” – “I believe that I am respected by my colleagues” – “I believe that despite what may confront us, the result is more important than the pain we may face” – “I believe that failure is not an option, that the vision of why we need to succeed is the fuel we need to deliver success”.

Forgive me if I sound like a preacher but I believe this more than ever.

Anyone who has played team sports knows that the arrogant team is often the one that fails. It underestimates the obstacles that it faces. It does not imagine the pitfalls or anticipate how it will need to behave to overcome them. Whereas the team that simply believes that winning is possible, is often the team that works together to do whatever it can to make it happen. It’s belief is not just based upon the glory of success but also upon the reality of failure and their determination to not let it happen. Consequently the team remains open to new ideas and learning from the failures of others.

Have a good week,

Harley