“All star teams fail because they rely solely on the individual’s talent. The Soviets win because they take that talent and they use it inside a system that’s designed for the betterment of the team.” – Coach Herb Brooks from the movie Miracle.

The 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team was assembled by Herb Brooks. Assistant Coach Craig Patrick looked at the list of 26 players and said “You’re missing some of the best players.”

“I’m not looking for the best players Craig, I’m looking for the right ones.” Brooks replied.

Any team’s success depends on two components:

  1. A system designed to achieve the desired results.
  2. Team members who are committed to each other and to working within the boundaries of the system. All stars are great to have on any team but not if they cannot work with the team.

This is true for sports and it is true for businesses. Many “teams” deliver disappointing results because they look good on paper but never gel into an effective unit. Unfortunately this is too often the case in the world of advisory services to business owners.

When ownership is working to put together a succession or buy/sell plan there are at least four key advisors needed to get the job done. The team includes an Attorney, CPA, Wealth Advisor & Insurance/Risk Advisor. In our years of working with businesses we have yet to see this type of planning done with a team emphasis where egos are set aside. Human nature takes over and every advisor wants to hold on to as much control as possible. They all want the puck. This is what frustrates business owners. It’s been this way for years. No goals are scored on offense and the defense collapses.

It does not have to be this way!

This is not an overstatement of the problem, it is the problem. Even if every one is an All Star in their own right, the lack of a team approach often results in failure. While each advisor is sincerely seeking to provide the best solution for the business, the lack of coordination in approach and timing can lead to undesired consequences. Everyone needs to be aligned in the same direction.

How do we fix this problem? Consider the following graphic inspired by Gino Wickman* from his book Traction. The advisors are aligned to solve the planning problems for the business owner. The planning implementer/integrator is responsible for installing and running the planning system which helps all the advisors work effectively together saving time and money. Now ownership can get the planning it wants.

Everything does not change overnight. It took Herb Brooks six months to get his system installed and to get the players to trust it. “Do you believe in miracles?” It can happen.

*Note – All the graphics in this post are inspired by the work and wisdom of Gino Wickman in his book Traction and the Entrepreneurial Operating System – EOS

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