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A Heisman Trophy Winner's Thoughts on Team Building

In 2011, sports history was made when Robert Griffin III, most commonly known as RG3, won the 77th Heisman Trophy as the Most Outstanding College Football Player in the U.S.


Robert Griffin III, quarterback at Baylor University, is the first player in the school's history to receive the award and has, without a doubt, changed the face of the Baylor football program.


With the arrival of RG3, Baylor football became more than outstanding. In 2010, Griffin led the Baylor Bears to their first bowl game in 16 years. In 2011, the Bears had a record-breaking season with nine wins and ranked 15 in the nation. Among their victories, Baylor beat long-time rivals Texas Tech, Oklahoma University, and The University of Texas. However, RG3 wouldn't have been able to achieve all of this without his teammates and coaches.


After Baylor's 59-42 win against Texas Tech, Baylor Head coach Art Briles said, "The key word is team, that's the great thing about football - it does take a group of players to win."    


Effective teamwork and leadership are the keys to success! Here are some thoughts from Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and his Baylor Bears that can apply to any team environment and organization.


Teams Need to Be Compatible - In 2011, Griiffin was the nation's only player with at least 3,300 passing years and 300 rushing yards. In order to gain those yards and touchdowns, RG3 had his teammates support - in particular, receiver, Kendall Wright. Every game, they worked magic on the field. Griffin and Wright "are the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver duo in program history," and both named All-Americans from CBSsports.com.


What makes their teamwork so great? They trust each other. Each knows how the other operates. Griffin knows Wright will always be where he needs him, and Wright knows Griffin will always deliver the pass.


To be effective in any team, you have to know who you're working with, and be comfortable with them. First, you have to know their skills, attitudes and values, so you can see how to best work together and get the job done. RG3 and Wright are a perfect example of that. Remember, team members must be compatible!


Trust your leader. Along with RG3 and his teammates on the field, the coaches on the sidelines help make up a winning team. The relationship between Griffin and his head coach, Art Briles, was a special one, built on trust and respect. During college recruiting, Griffin received offers to play for a lot of great schools - but he wanted to play under Art Briles and followed him to Baylor University. Briles saw Griffin's star-talent, believed in him, and helped him achieve greatness - not to mention win the Heisman Trophy! Their commitment to the players and their school has made the team successful. It's crucial for team members and their leaders to have this kind of trusting relationship and all work towards the same goal.


Griffin spoke of his win as a 'team' accomplishment and attributed much of the success to his fellow players. After accepting the Heisman Trophy, Griffin shared a quote from his coach, "The great coach Art Briles always says, 'Great things only come with great effort,' and we certainly worked for this."


Working towards a genuine team environment is a wonderful organizational goal. Great teams make great visions a reality!



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