SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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December 2016 10 www.sportseventsmagazine.com One of our favorite books at the Huddle Up Group is Patrick Lencioni's "Five Dysfunctions of a Team." Lencioni sites a lack of commitment as a major issue. In life, sports or any worthwhile endeavor, absence of commitment to the goal will likely result in failure. This is especially true of teams. Everyone must work together in order to win. I've been fortunate to hear Lencioni speak on this topic. He often sprinkles sports stories into his presentations, as well as through his books. Knowing he has an affinity for sports — Bay Area teams mostly — I wondered how com- mitment dysfunction affects the work we do. Specifically, what are the most im- portant things to consider when building partnerships in the sports tourism and events industry? With a tip of the cap to Mr. Lencioni, we present our Five Cs of Superior Sports Partnerships: Collaboration Every leadership theory offers a list of key attributes for success. For us, collabo- ration comes first. No great feat can be achieved alone. Partnering with others can be difficult to teach and, for some, can be even more difficult to learn. Some people have the knack, others don't, but collaboration can be devel- oped as a skill and, once developed, can lead to greatness. Commitment As noted, without a unified pledge to the goal by the entire team, success will be elusive. The keys to commitment are defining the destination — the goal — and the ETA — the timeline. If everyone agrees to those two things, the team can map out a plan to get there together. Communication As Lencioni points out, open and honest communi- cation within the team gen- erates trust, which leads to enhanced results. We recommend that commu- nication — with work teams, peers, mentors, family, everyone — be sched- uled regularly just like staff meetings. Block out time on your calendar to reach out to your partners. Don't sim- ply add communication to your to-do list: it becomes too easy to put it off. Block out time and make the connec- tions. It's better to check in along the way and make sure that everyone is on the same path rather than have to sort out confusion and start over. Creativity One of our favorite ques- tions to ask our partners is "What is a home run for you?" That is, once the basic goals are agreed upon, what stretch goal or major initiative would the partner like to achieve someday? If you have an idea of what the grandest plan looks like, you can share that vision with your partner. As you move along the primary project's path, if the home run is in reach, you may be able to get creative and obtain it as part of the journey. By asking the question, you can open the playbook to collaboration through creative thinking to reach the larger goal — and possibly secure a partner for life. Competition In "The Godfather," Vito Corleone says, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." This applies to your competition as well. The more you know about what they are doing and what goals they have, the more suc- cessful you can be when you roll out your own initiatives. One key: have a good feel for how your competition will respond when you make a move. If you raise your event's entry fees, what will the competing event do about theirs? Should your destination decide to ban bid fees, what will your neighboring CVB or sports commis- sion do? Gordon Gekko, of "Wall Street" fame, proclaimed, "The most valuable commodity I know of is information." This applies to great sports partnership as well. Information sharing is critical to each of the Five Cs. We need infor- mation to collaborate, to set goals, to communicate effectively, to be creative and to evaluate our competition. Successful sports partnerships require sharing of information to gen- erate achievement. If you can create a culture of sharing and trust, the Five Cs will set up your organization for long-term success. n Jon Schmieder is the founder and CEO of the Huddle Up Group LLC, a sports tourism and events consulting con- sortium. Schmieder has more than 20 years of experience in leading non-profits and sports tourism organizations through strategic growth and increased community collaboration. Jon can be reached at Jon@HuddleUpGroup. com, (602) 369-6955, and www.HuddleUpGroup.com, the company's newly updated website. Super Sports Partnerships: The Five Cs BY JON SCHMIEDER, CSEE 1 IDEA Playbook t 2 3 4 5

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