Building a winning team requires mastery in executing on a strategy, aligning a vision and, most importantly, selecting the right people to get the right results—whether that means winning a gold medal or providing great customer experience.

With the 2018 Winter Olympics Games fast approaching, I was thinking about how sports have a way of bringing people together. The athletes are unified in the goal to be the best at their sport. As spectators, we are brought together to marvel at the talent, the sacrifice and the grit of these athletes. And one of the most iconic examples of this in US sports history is the “Miracle on Ice” hockey match from the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

What made the “Miracle on Ice” so iconic? For starters, Team USA were the underdogs. Unlike their opponents, many of the players on the team had never seen international play, they weren’t full-time athletes and they were the youngest US sports team in history to play in the Olympics. Everyone believed it would take a miracle for them to be contenders for any podium spot—let alone the gold. But in the end, the team pulled off the biggest upset in Olympic history, going on to win the gold medal.

Create a Winning Team

When asked how he recruited players for the team, the late “Miracle on Ice” coach Herb Brooks said, “I looked for people first, athletes second … You win with people, not talent.” He methodically chose players based on not just their skills, but who they were as individuals. He looked for players with grit and the ability to persevere through challenges.

At Genesys in 2017, we brought two companies together into one united entity. Over this last year, we aligned our vision and executed on our customer journey strategy to deliver an exceptional and iconic customer experience. It’s no miracle. And like that iconic gold medal team, our most important element is the same—selecting the right people.

For us, customer experience is not something that one team or one part of the organization shoulders. Rather, it’s the actions of the collective; it’s about our people. We recognize that our team members are as critical to our business outcomes as our customers are. Each team member supports the next: Product engineers support our care analysts who also assist our customer success managers and customers. The cross-section of people we have on our team brings unique talents and personalities that work together to give you the best Genesys.

Coming Together for a Common Goal

Everyone knows that the “Miracle on Ice” team was inexperienced, especially on an international playing level. But they rallied and upset veteran teams. They played with their set of values—one common goal—and always did it as a team. As a coach and leader, Brooks could draw out the strengths of each player and empower them to believe in the best version of themselves.

If you’ve been to any Genesys event or had a conversation with our team members, you know that we believe strongly in the value of putting customers at the center of everything we do. For us, customer experience is built into our DNA; it’s the way we do business.

Herb Brooks famously said, “Let me start with issuing you a challenge: Be better than you are. Set a goal that seems unattainable, and when you reach that goal, set another one even higher.” Every leader has the responsibility to inspire greatness and draw out the talents within each individual on their team—to empower and enable them, and then get out of their way so they can do great things for customers.

Each day and each interaction are opportunities to create great customer experiences. When you have an organization that’s built around having the right people with the right sets of values, executing on a strategy becomes habit. While we know there is more work ahead of us in 2018, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our customers with the best customer experience in the world.  We accept your challenge, Coach Brooks.

David Sudbey

David Sudbey

David Sudbey is the Chief Customer Officer at Genesys. He is responsible for delivering the Genesys customer experience worldwide, including professional services, customer care, and education programs. In addition, David oversees Genesys Prime, the Brazil-based team dedicated to innovative self-service...