We all know how the United States basketball team fared at the 2004 Olympics and a similar thing seems to be happening with the U.S. Ryder Cup golf team. Both groups, filled with exceptionally talented individuals and seemingly dominant on paper compared to the competition, provide a stark reminder of one of the pitfalls of team-building. The pursuit to fill a work team with the best individual talent may actually lead to poor results. Instead, first consider the mission of your team (what’s your central purpose for existing as a group) and then build based on the answer. Need a strong marketing focus? Are you weak in bringing new ideas to the table? The best individuals to help with these needs may not be one of the “office all-stars.”
In the movie Miracle, Herb Brooks (played by Kurt Russell) tells his assistant, “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” What he wanted was a team that shined together, not individual all-stars trying to shine on their own. Do you have the right ones on your team?