Chapter 9. Nobody loses When the Whole Team Wins

I say it all the time: An airline is the biggest team sport there is. It's 40,000 people working together, day after day, toward the same goal: getting 2,100 planes loaded with people to their destinations in a clean, safe, and reliable way.

If you want to make the most sweeping statement you can about the change at Continental since I came on board, it's that now everybody's on the same team and everyone knows it. Everyone knows what the goal is and what his or her part is and how it relates to the goal. Everyone knows what the reward is for making the goal and what happens if we fail.

We're all working from the same plays, the same playbook— plays everyone's had a chance to buy into, plays the people who will be running them had a chance to help design, plays everyone believes in, plays everyone believes can win.

You want your company to run well? Here's an ironclad rule: Get everyone on the same team. Get everyone working for the same goal; get them to win or lose together.

Bad Teams Don't Play Together

The other way doesn't work.

When a team has a bunch of plays it doesn't think will work, the team doesn't win. When team members are beating up on each other, the team doesn't win. It's when the team beats up on other teams that it wins. Beating up on itself just causes trouble and makes noise.

Look at a good team. The quarterback isn't looking down his nose at the guards because they can't throw the ball. The quarterback knows that without ...

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