4 Elite Qualities Of Final 4 Teams That Relate To A Championship Business Culture

4 Elite Qualities of Final 4 Teams that Relate to a Championship Business Culture

Creating a Championship Business Culture You Can Use For Your Business | A Guest Post by Coach Alan Major

As I write this article and reflect on the end of the college basketball season, vivid memories still resonate in my mind of a trip I was blessed to make 11 years ago—a trip many coaches never have the opportunity to make—to the Final Four with my team.

Villanova scorched the nets on their way to the NCAA title, but the achievements of the other three teams should not go unrecognized. Making it to the Final Four is an amazing accomplishment, something all of us can learn from. I wanted to share some qualities that EVERY team in this year’s Final Four displayed, qualities that mark an elite team in sports or in business.

1. Crystal-Clear “Personality” 

Some call it “swagger,” others call it a “mindset.” Whatever your choice of words, the point is that each team knew EXACTLY who they were as a program. As a result, they also knew exactly who they weren’t—you could see that in their four very distinct styles of play. Each team knew how to make the most of their own strengths and do what worked for them. As a business or company, always make sure to just be yourself and trust in that vibe.

2. Love of Competition and of Craft 

You do not become a member of a Final Four team without putting in extra time—the “unseen hours”—to work on your craft individually. If we knew the exact number of hours that Villanova’s point guard, Jalen Brunson, put in on his own since last June, that number would blow our minds. Leaders, be sure when hiring to look for those who love what they do and are willing to put in the time to do it better than anybody else!

3. Boundless Energy 

To become a Final Four team, or a championship business, having boundless energy is a huge separator—it means bringing joy to the table each and every day, all the while knowing that your team’s purpose is always greater than its challenges. Every great company has a “feeling” when you walk in the building—you can just tell that people are fully engaged in what’s happening.

4. Selfless Connection

These four teams were absolutely supportive of each other without reservation. Not only did they talk about it at their press conferences, but they lived it out. They all had an “it’s not about me” type of air about them, exhibited by a ton of human contact (high fives, fist bumps or “daps,” hugs) along with direct eye contact with their coaches and each other—these are truly genuine interactions. Each team understood that all year long, they must keep the team’s logo above their own ego. This was best shown when Jalen Brunson dove for a loose ball and fell into the scorer’s table, and four—ALL FOUR—of his teammates sprinted over to help him up. In your work, look for ways to “pick up” your teammates each day—that ethic of support is contagious!

The best sports teams operate like a company, and, conversely, the best companies operate like a sports team. Congratulations to Loyola-Chicago, Kansas, Michigan, and Villanova for reaching the pinnacle of college basketball. If you’re a leader at any level in business, I hope these nuggets help you ignite some championship thoughts—and actions—into your team and company. I know I am personally grateful for being reminded of my own Final Four journey 11 years ago—that memory still feels as fresh as this most recent Final Four.

Yours in Hoops,

Alan Major


Check out the podcast Coach Alan Major did with KazSource – Entrepreneur Perspectives: Perspectives on Loving the Game.