Joe Gibbs ANI 1Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs knows a thing or two about leading successful teams. 

As a head coach, he took the once-failing Redskins to four Super Bowls and three world championships by improving team dynamics and persevering against the odds. And as the owner of a racing team, he led his team to a Daytona 500 win in his second year and has won two Winston Cup Championships. 

Monday at ANI: The HFMA National Institute, Gibbs, who has coached teams for 35 years, told healthcare finance professionals and leaders that that they share something in common with him: “You pick people, put them on a team, and ask them to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team,” he said. 

Likewise, just as pro sports are fast-paced, so, too, are the changing dynamics of healthcare finance and the healthcare industry as a whole, he said. 

“In a fast-paced world, if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind,” Gibbs told healthcare finance professionals. “You’re all in a fast-paced world, and most of you have your own teams. We have to teach people to sacrifice their own goals for the goals of the team—and that’s not always easy.” 

Strategies for Success

During ANI, Gibbs shared several strategies for developing successful teams. 

  Define your goals in the shortest timeframe possible for your team.

Measure performance in short time periods as well, Gibbs said. For example, Gibbs once offered a video recorder to the player who recorded the most sacks in a particular week, offered MVPs for one game the opportunity to sit in a La-Z-Boy during team meetings rather than the stiff, foldable chairs the team traditionally used, and offered access to his truck to the player who performed best at practice for a week. 

Joe Gibbs ANI 2Reward employees for their performance in front of their peers.

“Here’s what you’ll find: People will compete,” Gibbs said. 

  Understand that people are the most important asset you have, and keep this in mind when selecting team members.

“Picking people for a team is one of the hardest things we do. Make sure you’re testing them for what you want them to do,” Gibbs said. 

Be a good teacher.

“Everybody has to understand their assignment. Everybody has to understand how important they are,” Gibbs said. 

Play the game the right way.

“Ethics are really important to what we do,” Gibbs said. Select team members who are aggressive, but who also are very smart and understand how to play the game at hand, Gibbs said.

Publication Date: Monday, June 17, 2013