It Takes a Village

If you are a Canadian, you are most likely sharing in the excitement recently of the first Canadian to win a grand slam tennis tournament. As a country, we are very proud of our new teenage tennis star, Bianca Andreescu. 

If you were reading, watching or listening to the news at the time of this event, you were facing many angles to this great story.

Beyond the details of the match and a great story of her family’s immigration to Canada many years ago, the story that popped for me was the importance of building a great team around you if you want to succeed.

Roger Martin is the past chair of Tennis Canada and a professor emeritus and former Dean at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.  He contributed an opinion piece in the Globe and Mail recently that focused on the importance of building a strong team around you for success.  But rather than focus on athletic success, this article focuses on organizational success.

It takes a village to raise a child, an athlete or even a successful organization.  As leaders, we need to build a strong team of advisors, supporters and talent around us for that critical day-to-day support and strategic execution success.  The leader that thinks he or she can do it alone is fooling themselves.

I recently took over as chair of a not-for-profit organization in my hometown.  It has been successfully delivering an art event for local schoolchildren for 25 years called Magic in The Arts for Children.  I’ve met the current board and I’m convinced that our founder has built a strong foundation of great people that I will be able to rely on to continue the success of this event.

It takes a village to run an event, to support an athlete or to ensure leadership success.



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