How to Win in Business

The surprising way this basketball coach judges his best players is a key lesson for any employee

Photo by Tim Clayton - Corbis

If you are hoping to land a new project or a promotion at work, you might be tempted to get focused on your own performance. But in your boss' eyes, your contributions to the team are likely just as important as your own results.

That's the lesson of a video that's gone viral on Facebook, in which the head coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team, Geno Auriemma, goes off for two minutes about the importance of team spirit. The video has been watched 39 million times and shared more than 700,000 times.

"If your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don't care how good you are," says Auriemma.

"If your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don't care how good you are." -Geno Auriemma, UConn head coach

In his 31 years as the head coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team, Geno Auriemma has become legendary. He has been inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

And a pillar of Auriemma's coaching strategy is fostering positivity and engagement, team-wide.

Selfish players ride the bench.

"When I watch game film, I am checking what is going on on the bench," says Auriemma. "And if someone is asleep over there or somebody doesn't care, somebody is not engaged in the game, they will never get in the game. Ever. And they know that. And they know I am not kidding."

Auriemma has a long list of wins to his name, but character matters as much as winning, and sometimes more. "I would rather lose than watch kids play the way some kids play. I rather lose," says the coach. "And they are always thinking about themselves. 'Me, me, me, me, me, me. I didn't score, so why should I be happy?' 'I am not getting enough minutes, why should I be happy?' That's the world that we live in today, unfortunately."

Auriemma's message is important for employees in all fields. Your boss is probably watching not only what you are producing but also how you support your team and celebrate your colleagues' successes.