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Leadership Insights #21: Teamwork Insights: Lessons from the Denver Nuggets

Published about 2 months ago • 3 min read

A big shout-out to Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets; this man absolutely fascinates me. There’s something about the way he behaves on and off the court that I deeply admire and respect. Watching him during interviews, I find myself completely engaged, absorbing every single word he says. Keep in mind, he speaks very few words, and that’s one of the things I respect so much about him as a player and a leader. I have become a basketball fan because of the Denver Nuggets. I admire how true Nikola is to himself in interviews. I love the way he looks at his little girl and wife in the stands. I respect the way he leads the team and pushes everyone around him to be better today than they were yesterday.

The Nuggets have pushed me to think about teamwork. I watched Jamal Murray have a not-so-good game during the playoffs against the Lakers, and yet the team depended on him to make the buzzer-beater two-pointer to win the game. Why? During the post-court interview, Jokić was asked why Jamal? given his bad game. Jokić tilted his head, looking confused or annoyed, and simply responded, “Trust,” and walked away. It was as if Jokić was saying, “Come on, have you not seen Jamal during clutch times? Of course we trusted him to make the game winning shot! TRUST!”

To me, teamwork is all about working together to achieve a common goal. It sounds easy enough, yet why are there so few highly functioning teams out there? According to a study by Stanford University, teams that work well together are 50% more productive. From my experience, they also have a lot more fun doing it!

But what makes a great team? Why did the Nuggets turn to Jamal and trust he was their guy to make the game-winning shot? What are the key elements of great teams? Continue reading for more info on teamwork...

-Erin Robison,
Owner/Founder TruPotential Group

3 Resources from TruPotential Group

Teamwork Insights: Lessons from the Denver Nuggets - In the fast-paced worlds of sports and business, being able to build and sustain a high-functioning team is incredibly valuable. Teams that build trust, show humility, handle conflict well, challenge each other to innovate, make decisions effectively, leave egos aside, and have fun, not only achieve more but also create a positive, lasting environment. This was exemplified during a crucial NBA playoff game when the Denver Nuggets trusted Jamal Murray to make a game-winning shot despite his earlier struggles. This decision wasn’t just about basketball—it was about the core principles that make any team great.

Are People Excited to See You? - Imagine yourself walking into social gatherings – happy hours, get togethers, barbecues and meetings– are people excited to see you? When you come through the door and see people you know, how do they greet you? Do they offer big smiles, loud welcomes, and huge hugs? Or do they make eye contact, give a quick nod and turn back to their conversations? Read this article for ideas of how to be a person of value so that people will always be excited to see you!

Grow High Performance Teams - Increase your team’s performance and build trust between your team members. Many people complain that personality assessments are a one and done experience that fails to contribute to sustained business performance improvement. This service makes sure you are growing stronger together as a team each day.

2 Leadership Resources From Others

Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: Explore Lencioni's extensive work on team management and leadership for strategies that enhance team performance and engagement. His approach helps teams identify and overcome dysfunctions, creating a cohesive and effective unit.

Coach K's Leading with the Heart: His insights are invaluable for anyone looking to build resilient and successful teams in sports or any other field.

1 Quote to Remember

  1. Enjoying an incredible  sunset at the Fat Tire Festival in Fruita.
  2. Thank you Costco for George's favorite new toy!
  3. Celebrating Derby Day!

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We are TruPotential Group focused on innovative, energizing leadership development for corporations and teams. We specialize in communication workshops, one-on-one executive coaching, personality profile assessments, presentation and facilitation skills, media training, in-person and virtual facilitation. Contact us to learn more.

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