“Great Teams Manage Through Ego and Conflict” is one of the nine Gold Medal Strategies that I speak on, write about, and teach.
“Great Team Manage Through Ego and Conflict” is also the title of chapter 8 of my business book, Gold Medal Strategies: Business Lessons From America’s Miracle Team.
Ego and conflict need not be destructive. Indeed, as is almost always the case, when organizations successfully manage through ego and conflict they emerge stronger and more competitive than had they not had to face these forces.
Among the best tellings of the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team is the motion picture, Miracle. This movie has, throughout, evidence of, and artfully and engagingly describes, the value of the nine Gold Medal Strategies.
The scene in the movie in which Rob McClanhan and Jack O’Callahan go at it in practice (and this scene dramatizes a real life event) … and how Coach Herb Brooks reacts and what he says … and how my teammates answer his questions, explains that managing through ego and conflict would be required of each and all of us.
For, as well, and the scene shows this, even though Coach Brooks has given us our marching orders, we were far, far off from becoming a team.
Sure, there was the fight … yet there was also how my teammates responded to Coach Brooks’ request to provide some background on themselves (“Where ya from … who are you.”), and to answer his question, “Who you play for?”
Below is a link to a clip of the scene. I encourage you to watch the clip, and as you do so, please pay attention to, and think about, what Coach Brooks and my teammates say.