Mortar Not Just The Bricks

The higher your structure, the wider it's foundation must be. It's the mortar not just the bricks that's crucial.
The world’s winningest team—ever! [Photo credit: Toby Melville/Reuters, via]
Five-time CEO Margaret Heffernan, spoke at length on the topic of social capital during her June 2015 TED Talk. The words that hold true for developing a winning culture are:

“What matters is the mortar, not just the bricks.”

Character, as defined by personal discipline and helpfulness, is the the glue that holds your team together. Teams that are made up of individuals (i.e. coaches, players, and support staff, alike), that are more focused on the responsibility of ‘being of the team’ (as the All Blacks call it), rather than just being on the team, win.

A collection of talented individuals without personal discipline will ultimately and inevitably fail.

“Character triumphs over talent.”

What’s the cumulative character of your team? What is your team’s undergirding made of? Character may not register as a key performance indicator according to the basketball analysts; yet, winning coaches understand that the only sustainable competitive advantage you have are the quality of the individuals that make up the team.

That’s why even with the science, this craft is still an art.