I started racing sailboats at the age of 8 and have done just about every type of racing except offshore (crossing oceans). Some of the boats I have raced only hold one person (Lasers) and others require a dozen or more. Like most people, I think winning is more fun than losing, and I also think winning on a team is more fun than winning alone.
There is a certain magic that happens when a team comes together to do a great thing like win a race or accomplish any objective. You can read books all day long about how to put together a great team, how to motivate and inspire them, and how to drive for success. Here are my top three thoughts about teams and teamwork:
All About the People: Teams are made of people and without the right people -- nothing great will happen. This does not mean that everyone has to be a rock star. The Seahawks trading Percy Harvin this week is a good example of that. The chemistry is much more important than the skills or experience. Fill your team with smart people with big hearts. Pedigree and experience are secondary. Here is a little more on the subject.
Make it Safe to Fail: If someone gets fired every time there is a failure -- experimentation stops, and the winning will stop shortly after that. Get your team to realize that failure exists in between where you start and where you want to go. Figuring out how to deal with it when it happens is the key. Last night the Dongfeng team was leading the Volvo Ocean Race and lost a rudder. They didn't try to blame anyone, they got right to replacing their rudder (at 2 AM) and only got passed by 2 boats. That is awesome. Here is a little more on the subject.
Give Away the Glory: I hope everyone gets the chance to stand in the back of the room and watch their team take credit for an awesome performance. I think it is even more fun than taking the podium. The greatest singular experience is knowing in your heart that it was you that put the team together and kept it from falling apart and pointed it in the right direction.
These principles apply to winning sailboat races or hitting a revenue number or any other goal. Winning is definately fun.