Chemistry...basketball? What do chemistry and hoops have to do with radio?
I just finished watching the NBA finals and remember when Miami signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play with Dwayne Wade, there were all sorts of predictions the Heat would be the greatest NBA team ever...they might go undefeated...should have the best record in NBA history. It was an historic threesome, talent-wise, and great things were expected, especially in South Florida.
EXPECTATIONS. The Heat started slowly but ended up with the third best record in the NBA- a teriffic season for most teams. But, with all that talent, more was expected...by the team and their fans. How could they NOT win the NBA title?
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to South Beach. The Heat played the Dallas Mavericks, a team that had never won an NBA title; the team with seven players who had been to NBA finals without winning a championship. Both teams got through the playoffs and the general consensus was there's no way the Heat, with all that talent, could lose to the Mavs, with just one superstar, Dirk Nowitski.
IS LESS ACTUALLY MORE? The Mavericks not only won the NBA title but they won it in six games, clinching in Miami! Everybody predicting the Heat would skate to the title forgot about one thing: team chemistry. The team that plays together often wins together, even if they can't really match up to their opponent talent-wise. These finals were a great example of that...the Dallas Mavericks just wanted it more and you could see it throughout most of the series. Great talent with lousy chemistry almost never wins; average talent with excellent chemistry can almost always win.
IS THERE GREAT CHEMISTRY IN YOUR CLUSTER? It used to be (before consolidation) that that you could build a team, create a great atmosphere and have success. A team of hungry players, playing and winning together. It's more difficult to do so these days with a radio station because, in most cases, there aren't many stations with enough local 'players' to have much of a team. That means we have to be a lot more creative, more resourceful and build a cluster-wide chemistry. Is there fun in your hallways? Is there a good synergy between the different stations? Do you make your voicetrackers feel like they're really part of your team? Is there a healthy spirit of competition between stations in your cluster? If your answer to all three questions isn't a confident "yes!", there's work to do.
MAKING IT HAPPEN. We've been blessed to have some true superstar air staffs (like Big 100 in Orlando) that had success and some teams with talent that may have lacked experience but had the commitment and fire inside them to win. Our direct competitors may have had more established/talented individuals but they couldn't match our enthusiasm, passion, drive to win and to do so as a team. That's up to the head coach (the PD) to foster that mindset. You can't fake or manufacture this- it has to be genuine and sincere.
THE HEART TO WIN. Whether you lead stars or the less-seasoned, you stand a better chance at having a great sounding, successful station if your team is together...on the same page, pushing each other to get better, pride in their craft and the willingness to be among the hardest working talent in show business. These essential qualities can overcome a lack of polish and experience, pus they can also overcome a competitor with big talent but no heart. Personally, I was average in science and too 'height challenged' to be great at basketball. But, thanks to those I've learned from, I've been fortunate enough to build very strong, winning teams and had fun doing it.
WHO IS YOUR STATION/CLUSTER TODAY? The Heat or the Mavs?
Thanks & KEEP ROCKIN'!
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