The Minnetonka High School Girls Hockey Team recently won the Minnesota State Tournament. In the parlance of hockey, this was a real hat trick, as these girls have now won this tournament three years in a row. They have established dominance in the state that has to be respected.

This team was led by a group of seniors whom my daughter has known since kindergarten. So, while my daughter has opted for figure skates over hockey skates in the last ten years, I’ve known these girls since they were just little tykes.

The joy of high school sports is that players come and go. They grow and then graduate, so new teams must be formed each year. This makes the State Title “3-peat” achievement all the more amazing.

In the business world, we work to establish an environment of team collaboration to get things done. This is particularly critical now — as the competitive environment gets more and more challenging.

When new players arrive, we try to incorporate their skillsets into the delicate balance of the team structure. Each lineup change creates a completely new dynamic, which can be thrilling to witness.

Unlike high school, however, we strive to build a work environment that fosters individual growth – but not necessarily graduation. We want our players to continue to build and mature, without feeling the need to graduate to the new environment (i.e., employer).

The best coaches know how to keep their players engaged and committed to the overall team’s success. It’s not always easy, but it is very rewarding.