Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Douglas Orane | The value of teamwork -Address at the GraceKennedy Sports Club awards function: March 1996

Published:Monday | May 9, 2016 | 12:02 AM
Douglas Orane



I've always had a great love of sports, albeit as a very average performer myself. In my professional life, I've been fascinated by the parallels between the ingredients for success in the sporting arena and those in the world of business. At this event, I shared with my GraceKennedy colleagues some of what I had learnt and applied.


What are the characteristics of a good football team?

At the heart of such a team is cooperation and collaboration - the team works as a fluid, fast-moving entity working together to win.

While individuals on the team may be more gifted players than others, the aim is not to show off singular brilliance, but to work as one unit, giving support where needed, providing cover where this is important, and facilitating the scoring of goals.

While a football team looks very purposeful and coherent from the spectators' stands, the players on the field have a different experience - everyone is watching and moving and talking to each other, forewarning of impending danger and suggesting a possible way out. It sometimes seems chaotic, but it works because everyone understands what his role is and does what he has to do, accepting the authority of the captain and the coach to direct operations not in the interest of any one individual, but in the interest of the team.

2016 reflections

Can we imagine a Jamaica in which our institutions in Government, business, and the professions all function at a world-class level comparable to that of our best sportsmen and women? Very often we miss the parallel. Our sports persons have attained their exceptional levels by dint of hard work, dedication, and the honing of the essential elements required for successful teamwork. There is no reason why we can't transfer those attributes to every other area of public life.

Our society often lacks the self-confidence to aim high in terms of our economic performance. Here, within our midst, is a source of inspiration to reflect on our extraordinary success in the field of sports, where, as a country, we punch way above our weight.

- These are excerpts from Douglas Orane's book - The Business of Nation Building: Excerpts from the Selected Speeches of Douglas Orane - now available islandwide.

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