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When Do You Know If Your Team Is Set?

Written by Tom Rude, First Vice President - Equipment Finance

The Brewers are rebuilding…or are they “retooling”? The Bucks appear to be heading down the right track. And, yes, the Packers will be back in the Super Bowl next season (mark it down!?!).

But what about the Menomonee Falls Jr. Indians 7th Grade Girls Basketball team? That’s the burning question that really matters, right?

I’ve always done a lot of coaching, in both sports and business, including my role in leading First Business Equipment Finance, and as you probably guessed, I coach our 7th grade girls. If you’re like me, wondering when your team is “just right,” “all good,” or simply “complete” is continually on your mind.

Is there a destination, or is it always about the journey?

Our 12-and-13-year old girls have improved tremendously over the past 3 years, with great strides made in their fundamentals, focus, and the desire to compete and win. When I look REALLY deep, I can even see Frank Kaminsky’s post moves coming out in them at times! But there are always the ever-present tons of things to teach, correct, and introduce to them, with us coaches pondering, “If we could only do this, that, or the other thing” our team would be all set.

Within our First Business team, our equipment finance group is now over 10 years into its rebirth, and has also experienced strong growth in its fundamentals, focus, and the desire to compete and win. I realize, however, that we are never “set.” We can always find ways to improve the way we compete, help our clients succeed, and add fresh-thinking, quality contributors to our team….all with the goal to help drive higher levels of success during the next 10+ year path.

And the state of our girls basketball team? Of course they’re not set. 8th grade ball and various high school and new club level teams are just around the corner. There will be loads of new skills to learn and develop. Those young girls even get to reinforce to us old coaches a few life lessons along the way, like when they paraphrase things like, “It’s amazing how much we can accomplish together when no one cares who gets the credit,” and “Things may not always go the way we want out there, but keep playing and competing.”  Wow, great stuff girls—-your path looks bright!

It also remains a fun journey to continue to help build our First Business team, both with high value leaders and a strong bench, each day trying to become “more set.” I’ll get back to thinking more about that tomorrow, as I need to get to practice now and help the girls get better with their drop steps and box outs.

And by the way, MY favorite messages on either one of these journeys? The great John Wooden’s classic lines:  “Be quick but don’t hurry,” and “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

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