"The Hyena Effect" Winning In Numbers

Doug DonofrioCorrespondent IApril 11, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 20:  Running back Stephen Davis #48 of the Washington Redskins is stopped by a swarm of Green Bay Packer defenders during the NFL game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on October 20, 2002.  Green Bay defeated the Redskins 30-9.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel /Getty Images)

The hyena is known as a master at creating and exploiting chaos; a unified pack of goal oriented clan members with one purpose in mind-kill the impending prey... and do it as a team with a degree of humility enabling each member to fully maximize their contribution to the whole.

No one hyena demands the glory or the accolade of the kill; they all revel in the excitement and passion of completing their mission and having their roles defined. There are no primadonna hyenas looking for the rest of the clan to bow down to them and exult them on high.

No, that is not within the personality of each member, but what is can only be visualized by seeing them in action as I have. It may appear chaotic and albeit of much confusion, yet you see the team dynamics at play and you marvel at their cerebral acuity, their commitment to one another, and the unselfishness to think less of each other but more of the group.

Can any of what I am saying ring true in professional team sports? I hope so. Do we see teams collectively and sacrificially optimizing their strengths or do we see them masking their weaknesses and wilting under the direction of a few?

The very best teams reaching the pinnacle of any championship must rely on each other; and it is done in numbers—with a collective chief aim to become less individually but greater as a totality.

This can only be accomplished when each member fully understands the vision, mission, and purpose of role clarity and specialization. We should not ask Dwight Howard to direct traffic in the lane but to dominate the paint. We should not ask Ryan Howard to drop a bunt down the third base line and try to beat it out.

Ask the hyenas and in their own words and they will communicate that winning with purpose is only plausible when you put yourself in a position where your contribution to the whole is measured by the success achieved in totality.