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Juicing Your Team: Creating A High-Performance Culture

Whether it is a sports team poised to make a championship run or a business innovating and making an impact in their field, we’ve identified three characteristics of high-performance cultures.

There is something special about a large organization operating at its peak, every part humming in sync, contributing to the cause. Whether it is a sports team poised to make a championship run or a business innovating and making an impact in their field, we’ve identified three characteristics of high-performance cultures- all of which can be obtained, though it may not be easy.


Before playing Ohio State in 1983, legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler stood before his Wolverines in the locker room and delivered a pep talk for the ages.

“We want the Big Ten Championship and we’re going to win it as a team,” Schembechler told his men. “No man is more important than the team. No coach is more important than the team. The team. The team. The team.”  (Find the speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrvwWfIeHu0)

Xceleration adviser and business consultant Daryl Speach says Schembechler had a point. It is all about the team.

“A team’s true success comes when all the players bring their best game to the field.” Speach explains. “There’s no ego, no hidden agenda. There is a leader who acts more like a coach and paints a ridiculously clear destination postcard.”


The “Destination Postcard” Speach refers to is his version of a map through the wilderness- a clear picture of where leadership wants their team to go, what they want them to achieve.

“What highly effective leaders of highly effective teams do is paint a Destination Postcard that is that enticing, that exciting, that’s attractive- that the employees look at their leader and say ‘of course we want to go there.’”

Speach continues: “Your team then shows up every day laser-focused on how- as a team- they are going to reach that destination.”

High-performance cultures

Without a positive attitude, this celebration may have never happened.


November 3, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio.

World Series Game Seven

The Chicago Cubs were trying to eliminate more than a century of frustration and for a few innings it looked like they were well on their way. With four outs remaining between them and a championship, the Cubs blew a three-run lead and the final game of the season would go to extra innings.

That’s when the rain fell.  Enough to cause a 17-minute delay.

Both teams retreated to their clubhouses and in another legendary locker-room speech, Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward called his teammates together and looked each one in the eye.

“I don’t know how it’s going to happen,” Heyward said calmly, “I don’t know how we’re going to do it, but let’s go out and try to get a win.”

The Cubs scored a run in the top of the tenth and held on to win the championship.

Without that positivity in the clubhouse during that rain delay, Speach notes that earning that victory after blowing a big lead would have been nearly impossible.

“If you keep telling people negative,” he says, “they’re never going to rise up. When you’re in a meeting and you have people doubting your success, doubting the project will be completed on time, that negativity eats at success. It’s toxic, and it spreads.”

The worst-case scenario, Speach says, is if your leader spreads that toxicity.

The Team, the Destination Postcard, and the Positive Attitude- three concepts, three parallels between success on the field and in business- and you may have noticed the thing they all have in common.

They don’t cost you a dime.

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