“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
– Patrick Lencioni
Bay Tek Games is located in a small community outside the booming metropolis of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay, truly a small town of 105,000 people, boasts an amazing sports culture. Yes, we are home of the Packers, proudly owned by the community; but equally as zealous are the loyal fans of the UWGB Phoenix Women’s basketball team. The team has earned it as they have put up a streak of over forty consecutive winning seasons, sixteen straight Horizon League championships and numerous invitations to the NCAA tournament.
We had the pleasure of having Mehryn Kraker join us to share her perspectives on leadership and a winning team. Mehryn led the Phoenix to four league championships and was drafted into the WNBA. She described the Lady Phoenix as having a culture of being a player-led team. The players absolutely own the culture of the team and recognize their responsibility in maintaining this culture. Recruits are immersed in the culture prior to joining the team and very quickly see that fitting into the culture is essential to being successful with this team.
The players on the team are, and must be, completely invested in each other and in the shared fate of a championship season. This is absolutely a challenge in the world of college sports where individual accomplishment determines whether there is any chance at all of pursuing the dream of playing professionally. This is where the role of coach is so important. Their coach sets the standard and expectation that you must have both team and individual success (on the court and academically) in order to truly “win.”
Mehryn describes that the culture that she helped to nurture, that she benefitted from is unique, is hard work and requires complete commitment from everyone on the team regardless of their role. It is fragile yet amazingly strong at the same time.
The maturity of perspective she shared with us was amazing. Her challenge is loud to a business, sports team, family, etc. Your culture is the foundation for whether you are able to achieve the win you seek and not just for one season. If you choose to be intentional and leverage a strong culture, you can achieve championship glory year after year.