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James-Worthy-SpeechLast week at the California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference, we were fortunate to hear James “Big Game” Worthy, NBA Hall of Fame member and three time NBA champion, deliver the keynote address. The standing-room-only crowd was treated to a motivating message about how teamwork, leadership, talent development and management, and ego management are key ingredients to winning NBA championships, but it also applied to our industry and likely all others. As an industry, we deal with all of these issues every day as we handle claims, attract and develop employees, and try to improve our industry by working together. When we have great examiners handling claims, the industry working together to ensure the system is balanced, and we deliver timely and effective benefits to injured workers while maintaining a sustainable and cost-effective system, workers’ compensation is a win-win for everyone.  The following were Mr. Worthy’s key points on what a team is really all about.

  1. Buy into the philosophy

Teamwork is essential in the workplace no matter how talented your individual team members are. Without teamwork, your workforce is going to face high turnover and lack of satisfaction in  everyday responsibilities.

  1. Be a good listener

You have to be a good listener. It is important to receive the information you are given, gather your data and then take action. Listening allows you to learn to follow before you lead.

  1. Your superstar doesn’t always have to take the winning shot

Everyone on a team is a valuable contributor. Your superstar does not always have to be the one you turn to for that important project. You have to trust each team member to be the best at whatever role they play on the team. Sometimes your superstar has to step aside and let someone else step up. You never know – they might become the next Michael Jordan.

  1. Teamwork is about talent

We have to recognize what our platform is in the organization – it’s there for a reason. You are obligated to give back and raise those around you to help meet the bottom line. Magic Johnson was a great example of someone who could will the best out of his teammates. Refusing to accept mediocrity from those around us becomes contagious to the team.

  1. How to resolve conflict

You don’t have to like everyone you work with on the team to succeed. Even if you are a superstar, you still have to fall in line with the team or there will be conflict. Disconnected talent will fail in the end; communicating and showing respect to your team is very important. The Lakers relied on the “circle of communication” where everyone had to share their thoughts no matter if feelings were hurt. Participation by everyone was the first step toward success. The second important thing was hearing from the “12th man” – the fans and commentators who brought important insight by saying things the superstars didn’t see.

  1. Everyone deserves your time

If you are a leader, you must make time for everyone on your team. When you don’t listen, you demoralize your team. Mr. Worthy said his mother taught him that everyone can make time for everyone. Never discount what your team has to say when it comes to reaching your objectives.

What makes your team successful?

Darrell Brown, Chief Performance Officer

Sedgwick was pleased to sponsor Mr. Worthy at this year’s conference.

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One Response to James Worthy talks teamwork at CWC & Risk Conference

  1. Montye Maxine Ibokette says:

    Very well said! Worda to live by, in every facet of life.

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