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Building "The Ultimate Team"

by Chris Gbandi, Northeastern University Men’s Soccer Coach | May 01, 2018
Let me explain, when I was first hired at Northeastern, so much of my focus was on improving the players I inherited. Our time was spent discussing which formation we were going to use, which players we felt were best suited for this formation, and on
and on and on. But, by dedicating so much of my focus to building a soccer vision based on skill set, I forgot the most important thing that winning organizations have: great team chemistry.
Why would a coach of a division one college program reveal to anyone reading this article that it took so long to figure it out? Well, my hope is that you will learn from my trial and error building a team and transfer those lessons when (and if) you decide to
become part of, or build, a real estate team or office. 
So, what is the ultimate team? I believe the ultimate team has nothing to do with a great player or players (although that helps); it has everything to do with these three traits:

1. The team is made up of the right leaders;
2. The members of the teamwork together; and
3. The team wants to leave behind a  legacy.


As coaches, we know who the top players are and we often hand them leadership roles based solely on their playing ability. However, in some cases those players are not ready for the responsibility. We need to identify the right leaders, develop them, and
empower them to use those skills. Having the right leaders in position makes the overall running of the team/ organization that much easier. The right leaders in place can be a bridge between the coaching staff and the team. By identifying the right leaders in your real estate team or office, you ensure that your messages are being heard even when you are not present.

Working Together Toward the Same Goal:

I'm now dedicated to building a team that is completely together. To do so, I've focused on having our team  work harder together in practice and other activities, as I believe that a team that works together bonds tightly. In addition, we schedule team bonding
events and have brought in outside experts to help us define our goals and how we can improve as a group to reach them.


For soccer players, the easiest way to create legacy is by winning championships, and that should be the ultimate goal. However, there are other ways legacy can be created that a team should strive for as well. Maybe it’s team GPA or working in the community.
Whatever it is, the players need to be committed to it.
It’s the same for real estate teams. Legacy could be reaching sales goals, or maybe it’s great client service that results in repeat business. It’s up to the team to define what they want their legacy to be and work towards that. 

Putting these “Team” Traits to Action:
Throughout our team building events, we keep these three “ultimate team” traits our focus. We do this while we are pushing all players and coaches outside of their comfort zones and dividing leadership opportunities to maximize development individually and
as a group. 
I've seen in the past two years that teams who have good chemistry, and are on the same page with their objectives, are successful regardless of talent level. Those teams that work well together are difficult to play against because they are determined,
organized, and passionate. Hopefully at this point next year, we will both be much closer to becoming "The Ultimate Team."

Chris Gbandi is the Head Coach of Northeastern University Men’s Soccer. He was the 2000 Hermann Trophy winner, a three-time All-American and 2000 national champion as a studentathlete at Connecticut. In 2002, he was the first overall pick in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft.