Coach Paul Johnson’s Advice for Teams

3 April 2020Allaccountability, communication, culture, integrity, teamwork



The current business climate can be tough on the bonds that keep teams strong. Aside from fine-tuning the technology facet of working from home, there are ways you can stay motivated and, in turn, motivate your teammates. At a past Applied Software all-employee meeting, Coach Paul Johnson had some time-tested advice for teams, which particularly holds true as more and more teams are being pulled taut by working remotely.

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During his football coaching career, Coach Johnson received nine Coach of the Year awards. When he retired in 2018, he had served as head football coach at Georgia Tech for ten years. Before that, he coached the Division 1 team of Georgia Southern University for five years, logging 62 wins (an 86% win rate) in his first four seasons as the head coach – one of only four coaches to ever do so. He also coached at the US Naval Academy for five years and served as offensive coordinator with three other teams over a period of fourteen years. With nearly four decades of experience working with football teams, Coach Johnson knows about teamwork.

Coach Johnson’s advice:

  1. Be a good teammate.  Be willing to do whatever it takes to make your team successful. Don’t be the weak link that pulls everyone else down. When challenges arise, continue to fight and play through them. Trust your leadership. Don’t market yourself individually – it’s about the team. Your character is important. “A true test of your character,” Johnson pointed out, “is to consider what you do when no one else is watching.” Thousands of workers are now finding out firsthand about how their character measures up.
  2. Communicate.  As a member of a team, you need to have respect for your other team members. Johnson stressed, “Either you all lose, or you all win.” Share the credit. You’d be surprised how much can get accomplished when you’re not concerned about who gets the credit. With a win, everyone becomes a great success. Johnson explained that the best scenarios are not coach-driven but “player-driven” teams, where teammates want to succeed and keep each other accountable to meet expectations.
  3. Be accountable.  Accept your role and decide you’re going to be the best at that job. One of the qualities that Johnson praised was a good work ethic. Help people on your team who need help. Will you have a bad boss now and then? Sure, it happens. But, Johnson assured, “You can learn things even from bad supervisors.”
  4. Have a good attitude.  Approach what you do with a good attitude. Be sincere in your dealings with other people. As Johnson put it, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  5. Mentally prepare.  You’ll face change throughout your life, so be prepared. Be thorough in what you do. Be able to fix things that go wrong. Have a system for the way you work and believe in what you’re doing. If what you’re doing is important, you have to develop the mindset that no one can stop you.

Keep your team’s bonds strong whether working remotely or inhouse. Business climate aside, there are winners and losers in any situation. Use teamwork, communication, accountability, attitude, and mental toughness to position your team as a winner so you can emerge stronger through whatever adversity you face. When you need a technology partner who understands teamwork, contact Applied Software and talk to an Applied expert about your company’s software, training or service needs.    



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