You Win in The Locker Room First.

The 7 Cs to Build a Winning Team in Business,
Sports & Life.

Coach Mike Smith lead a remarkable turnaround at the Atlanta Falcons around in 2008 and in his book with Jon Gordon, Smith outlines the 7 C’s for building a winning team.



  • Organizations with sustained cultures have sustained success
  • Culture drives expectations and beliefs:
  •      Expectations and beliefs drive behaviors
  • Behaviors drive habits
    • Habits create the future
  • Know what you stand for – put it into process
  • Focus on the Root, not the fruit
  • Built it up and down – everyone creates culture
  • Live it, value it, reinforce it and fight for it

“Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up.”


  • Make a decision to be positively contagious.
  • Leadership is a transfer of belief – share a powerful vision and mission with your team
  • Fill your team with positively contagious team members
  • Remove energy vampires
  • Adopt a no complaining policy

“There is never a bad day, only bad moments.”


  • Be the same leader whether you are winning or losing
  • It’s not okay to be moody – people don’t know what to expect and lose trust in you
  • Consistently remove any seeds of complacency
  • Commit to consistent improvement
  • Be humble – life-long learner; headlines become fish wrap
  • Be hungry – push yourself and your team to be great

“To build a winning team, you want to be consistent in your attitude, effort, and actions.”


  • Communication begins the relationship developing process – relationships are key to winning teams
  • Voids in communication are filled with negativity
  • Take the temperature – listen and learn from your team
  • Reiterate and reinforce your critical messages – make sure the leaders are sharing the same messages
  • Communication fosters collaboration

“What we think matters. Our words are powerful”


  • Creating a connected team is one of the most important things you do – Team beats talent
  • Use team-building exercises to build relationships
    • Hero, Hardship & Highlight
    • Defining Moment
    • If you really knew me, you would know this about me
  • Create opportunities to connect outside the building
  • Connection is a continuous process

“The connection you create today will be the bond that strengthens your team tomorrow.”


  • Not just involved – your commitment has to be greater than anyone else’s in the organization
  • It’s not about you, it’s about the team – commit to them
  • Focus on making your team better
  • Lose your ego and own the problems
  • The ultimate commitment is sacrifice

“A team feels a leader’s commitment when the leader takes the time to serve them.”


  • A leader who cares builds a team who cares
  • Make caring a strategy
  • Value team members as individuals
  • Develop and share a caring trademark

“To build a winning team it’s essential to build a culture of caring.”


  • True leaders don’t create followers…
  • They create more leaders
  • Coach with optimism and positivity
  • Help people become the best versions of themselves
  • Ask people to share their goals and help them get there

“Want to create sustainable success? Focus on the root, not the fruit.” 


  • Don’t just settle for talent without character
  • Character drives talent to greatness
  • Leaders are developer of characters as well as talent

“The character you possess during the drought is what your team will remember during the harvest.”


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