What We Should Learn About Teams From David Beckham and Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney is calling for David Beckham to be included on the UK Olympic soccer squad.  Are you kidding me?!

To be clear, I'm not the soccer expert in the family, but given that David Beckham shows up more in my Hello gossip magazine than my husband's Sports Illustrated, I'm pretty confident that the UK has better options.

Paul McCartney provides just another example of someone not understanding how teams work.

The first rule of teams is to understand your purpose...why you exist. In the case of an Olympic sports team, your reason to exist is more simple and clear than almost any other team. Faster, higher, stronger...period.

Once you know what the team exists to do, find the people to get it done.

McCartney was quoted as saying:

"That should have been Beckham. He's a national hero, a crowd puller. It would have been great for him to lead out our British football team. But some person somewhere said, 'So-and-so's playing better.' Like it matters."

Well Sir Paul...it matters. 

The coach, like any team leader, is building the team to get the job done. And the job in the Olympics is to win. It's not to fill the stadium. It's not to have the best-looking team swimsuit calendar. The job is to win.

The next time you find yourself including a member of the team because they are nice, or popular, or whatever, ask yourself, will that help us get the job done. If not, choose someone else.

If Mr. Beckham is as important as Sir Paul suggests (which I don't question), he can drape himself in the Union Jack and parade at the opening ceremonies and wherever they need him.  But if they want their footballers to win, put the best team on the pitch.