The Ultimate Glue
In 2005, the US National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets were looking for a talented player to add to their roster. The usual scouting reports and analyses delivered a list of names. Some of them were unavailable or too expensive, and others did not seem like the right fit for the team. Then, using advanced analytics capabilities, the Rockets’ general manager identified a player named Shane Battier as the one most needed for the team.
But not everyone seemed convinced. By most conventional measures—points scored, rebounds, blocked shots—Battier was simply an average player. But Houston’s analysis went one step further. The organization was able to measure how other team members performed whenever Battier was on the court. By that standard, Battier stood above his peers. Whenever he was on the court, no matter which position he played, his teammates got better and his opponents struggled. Battier went on to be a star with Houston.
Battier has often been called “the ultimate glue guy” for playing sound, fundamental, team-oriented basketball, making his teammates more effective. Without flashy plays or padding his stats, he made the most of his skills with discipline and hustle rather than raw athleticism.
To win a game – be it in the sports arena or within the cubicles of our corporate offices – three things are required: Talent, Teamplay, Luck. Of these three, luck factor on a given day is not in anyone’s control, so it has an inconsequential value for discussions. The tug-of-war is between talent and teamplay to steal the thunder of winning.
Of course, every now and then, an institution comes along that is blessed with disciplined team players who are also immensely talented! And when that happens – it’s magic time!