The 1976 Indiana Hoosiers are considered by many experts to be the best men’s college basketball team ever assembled. They boast the most recent undefeated season in men’s NCAA history, and are “still unmatched by future generations.”
What makes this team unique isn’t the fact that they won a lot…From a business and team-building perspective, this team was unique because they knew they had the opportunity to win the national championship with relative ease, and yet that wasn’t enough for them. They accepted an optimal mission statement.
Inspired by their coach and leader Bobby Knight, they set their sights high on an undefeated season. At the beginning of the season Coach Knight said, “Winning the Big Ten doesn’t make any difference. And winning the national championship doesn’t make any difference. If you will work, and follow what we want done, you have the ability to go undefeated, and anything less than that would not be the equivalent of what your capabilities are. That’s all.”
In other words, they had assembled an unstoppable team with top-notch talent and chemistry, and yet they knew that wasn’t enough. This team played with a mission statement that would be difficult, but possible.
Contrast this with the modern approach in sports and business, whereby the mission is always to win, but not necessarily to reach one’s optimal potential…Whether we are leaders of a company, an office, or simply ourselves, it should be our mission to reach our fullest potential in order to tackle inefficiencies and setbacks in our way.
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