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Special to | March 21, 2014

What makes a winning team?


While much of the focus during March is on the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, there are plenty of fans focused on the women’s tournament as well. One of those fans is our very own UPS Brand Ambassador Lisa Leslie. A former professional basketball player, Leslie is a perfect representative in UPS’s sponsorship of NCAA basketball.

You may assume she is a great fit because of her experience playing basketball at a high level or because of her success as a sports commentator and analyst. While that may be true, Leslie also has a unique tie to UPS.

“I think UPS is really close to my heart because my husband works for UPS,” Leslie said. “Michael is a captain on a 767 and has been flying for UPS for 20 years, which I’m so excited about.”

As the wife of a UPS captain, there’s no doubt that Leslie has a full grasp of the logistics that it takes to keep UPS, and the businesses we serve, running smoothly.

“We talk about logistics so much, and he always reminds me that UPS operations are a well-oiled machine,” Leslie said. “He recognizes that he is a piece of the puzzle and always has to be on time to get things from point A to point B. There is no messing around.”

Working as a UPS Brand Ambassador is the perfect intersection of all the knowledge Leslie has about logistics and what it takes to find success. She noted that she loves having this opportunity to connect logistics with college teams all over the nation, as well as the chance to share the lessons that sports has taught her in regard to business.

“I think it’s important to really make a close correlation to how important sports are to real life and working,” Leslie said. “You work on teams with both, and working together is really important. A lot of dynamics are happening [in the workplace] that relate to sports.” 

When she thinks of the winning elements in both sports and business, she remarks that, “’teamwork’ and ‘chemistry’ are two words that kind of come to mind.” She goes on to say how important a role the dynamics of the people that make up your team plays in being successful.

“I think it’s important to recognize that you don’t want everyone [to be] alike,” Leslie said. “ For basketball as an example, you need a forward and you need a guard.  You need a center. Those are people who play different positions, and I think the same applies in business.” She mentions that having a players with different ideas and strengths has been important in her work life and has driven more successes than surrounding herself with people that share the same group mentality. 

As she has made the transition from being a player to an entrepreneur, Leslie has taken the lessons she learned on the court and applied them to finding success now. She also realizes what a great example she had of entrepreneurship from her mother when she was growing up.

“What was great about my mom is that she gave up the job she had to go back to school to learn to be a truck driver, which was a little bizarre at first” Leslie said. “She went and bought her own truck and signed up for a company where she could run her own business delivering electronics across the country. She always had her lipstick on and nails polished, but she worked hard and sent the message that I could do anything I wanted to if I worked hard.”

Thanks in part to the inspiration from her mother and her experience in the WNBA, Leslie is now an entrepreneur herself while working as a public speaker and broadcaster. She looks for the same traits in her business team as she does for basketball players --  heart, passion, dedication and commitment. That’s why UPS is proud to partner with her as we support NCAA basketball and small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

“I look at positions in basketball as in positions in business,” Leslie said. “Have a diverse group of people come in with different thoughts and ideas. Figure out what’s going to be the best solution for your company and your business. Then go in that direction.”

As you head in that direction, you may hit a bump in the road where you need another team member to pick up the slack. There may be times where your team is growing, and you need someone with that same commitment and dedication to success as you to help you continue to expand. That’s where UPS business solutions come into play. We will work to help you draw up a game plan that will lead to victory.

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