“The real lessons of teamwork don’t happen on camera. They happen behind the closed doors of locker rooms and team meetings and practice facilities. Kevin and John open those closed doors. All you need to do is get reading!” —Larry Bird
“Help the helper” is a basketball motto preached by some of the sport’s legendary coaches, including Dean Smith and Phil Jackson. All good players know they should support a teammate who’s under pressure. But the true greats know how to take it one step further. They fill the gaps left behind when one teammate goes to help another—gaps that are often far from the basket and out of the spotlight. The true greats step up in quiet ways to make sure no subtle holes develop on defense and no opportunities are missed on offense.
Help the Helper will show you how to put this level of teamwork to work in your business, to build a culture that recognizes and rewards those who help the helper—even when they don’t have sexy statistics. In the process, it will teach you how to de-emphasize the CEO/quarterback/superstar and effectively redefine leadership. You’ll learn, for instance, how to:
Create a dynasty of unselfishness.
Manage energy, not people.
Eat obstacles for breakfast.
Act like an “unleader.”
Consider how it works in the hospitality industry. In a great restaurant you don’t have to wait for your server to check on you; your needs are taken care of instantaneously, sometimes before you notice them. Everyone from the busboy to the maître d’ has one goal: the success of the team. Such coordination seems complicated for a small eatery, nearly impossible for a large organization. But it’s easier than you think.
For a combined forty years, Pritchard and Eliot have focused on building high-performing groups. They’ve crushed Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-Hour Rule, logging upward of 50,000 hours studying the factors that create champions and dynasties, from the NBA and Major League Baseball to the Fortune 500. Exhaustive testing, scouting, and evaluating have taught them that truly special teams in all fields have one common denominator: a willingness to do whatever it takes to help the helper.
Drawing on true and inspirational stories from sports to medicine to business, Help the Helper shows what’s behind the curtain that fuels great team performance.