I generally avoid using sports analogies when advising clients on improving their businesses. They focus way too much on beating the competition when most improvements come by stopping beating yourself.

These analogies work better.

A choral or musical ensemble like a choir or orchestra. Different members of the team contribute different things that add up to something better than the individual contributions of each member. Singing bass usually doesn’t sound to good by itself, but it enhances the music made by the sopranos or tenors. Trust me on this, I’m a bass, we almost never have the melody but we add something to everyone else’s singing. Everyone is singing different notes. When they do this in the proper order, on the same measure, the outcome is amazing.

Leading or driving a team of pack animals. When you research the words team and teamwork, you’ll find that the origins of these words have nothing to do with sports. It comes form getting a “team” of horses to pull a sled, or wagon, or carriage effectively, acting in unison. It’s also the origin of the word “teamster”, someone effective at getting pack animals to work together and pull the wagon.

Both of these work much better than many sports analogies. When I use them, they change the attitudes of the people I’m working with in a positive manner. The see the need for achieving a common objective and that everyone has a role to play and that they have to be working in unison to accomplish the objective.

Does this work for you?