“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Babe Ruth
As a huge sports fan I am always amazed at teams that sign the highest priced athletes and then believe they will win championships. What teams seem to forget is how important team chemistry is. Do some superstars really upset the team chemistry? Do superstars believe they are more important than the team as a whole? Those are great questions and the answers are probably yes and yes.
In Paul Azinger’s great book Breaking the Code he details how he took 12 “superstars” who played golf solely for themselves and turned them into 3 small teams of 4 all working for the ultimate goal of winning. What Azinger writes about is the importance of matching personalities so they can reach the ultimate goal. I know that through my work career I have worked with people who on their own were brilliant top performers but once paired on projects they failed to achieve and settled for mediocrity.
We all have “superstars” on our team and everyone always wants to hire more of them, but at what cost? I know the Miami Heat and the New York Mets probably ask themselves this question quite often. Were the players just not really what they seemed or did they take a sudden turn for the worse when they transitioned from one team to another? Probably not. They were more than likely just mixed in with personalities they didn’t mesh with.
In Breaking the Code, the author speaks at great lengths about ensuring that the correct personalities and work ethics were matched so that the small teams or “Pods” as he refers to them, would give the entire team maximum production. Guess what? It works.
I am sure that as you look around at your current and future teams and think to yourself that “Susie” was such a great hire and had such a great background, why is she not reaching her full potential? The question you really need to be asking is whether Susie is matched with like-minded individuals in order for her to fulfill her potential? Here at Red Book Solutions we take many personality tests ranging from Kolbe to DISC to ensure we are pairing our talent in teams and jobs that suit them well. Of course this costs a little more, but in the end it is much cheaper than the alternative—a self-destructing team does no one any good.
Great teams don’t just happen, they are crafted and cultivated. Really take a look at yours to understand its various traits. Be active in managing it at every level. It is a good investment of your time that will bring back a positive return in more ways than one.
By David Pettit, Business Development Director, Red Book Solutions