Since arriving to Oxford, I have been fortunate to join the Oxford University Men’s lacrosse team.
We are more than a team. We are a band of brothers, ranging from Ph.D candidates to undergraduates to fellow Oxford MBAers.
Lacrosse is unique as a sport in that it attracts not just the desire to be great in sport, but high academic and career achievement outside of sport. The entrepreneurial spirit and the role of teamwork the sport fosters among participants is unique, with many core tenets for success similar to those in business. A few key principles include:
In lacrosse, we seek to find real-time competitive opportunities, using them to score. We look for efficiencies on the field that will allow us to capitalise, whether a player not in position or a competitive match-up between two players. This same principle of real-time innovation applies in business, whether it is creating a competitive advantage in a new industry space as a start-up or in the hospital as we optimise patient care.
Speaking up can win games, results in cost savings, and saves lives. Research has shown the benefits of teamwork based communication in sports, business, and medicine. We encourage each other to “talk” during the game, about our roles, and what we see on the field. We break apart missed opportunities during timeouts and collectively brainstorm on additional opportunities. The same applies in business, and we apply the same principle within our Oxford MBA team as we conduct our group projects and design team roles.
Teamwork is one of the central tenets of success in any field, from engineering to healthcare to construction. Obtaining good outcomes in these fields stems from cooperation, communication, and partnership. Every player on the field knows his role, his position, and his teammate’s role. The role of task sharing in a mission allows a team to expand their ability to execute and effect change in an impactful and meaningful way.
We are a brotherhood, and support each other in both success and failure. Good teams, whether in corporate business, medicine, or a start-up, live and die together. Our Oxford lacrosse and Oxford MBA teams are the same – we support each other no matter what – as we innovate, communicate, and work together.
“But we in it shall be remembered; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he to-day that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother.” – King Henry, Act IV.Back to top of article