Working on a team of diverse individuals is challenging and tests your abilities. As people, we all have our strengths, talents, interests, and abilities that we consider to make up a big part of who we are. Working with a team of people who share the common goal, but different approaches, styles, and strengths, really helps to grow and sharpen everyone on the team. What would we do without being challenged by those who are different than us? Being the best “us” is helped along by others growing and pushing us further than we can ourselves—it all leads to strong collaboration. Without those team members who are better and stronger than us in our weak areas, we may not push ourselves further when developing our skills. Although collaboration can bring great outcomes and unthought-of ideas, it doesn’t solve everything, and it doesn’t always grow you in the right ways.
The first issue we run into is too many head chefs. Having too many people on a project with the same skills can bog down the process of moving forward towards the deadlines. It’s okay to not have everyone as part of a big project. You need a team of individuals who are pros at what they do—in different areas. Every team needs leaders and followers to make the system work.
Second, picking the right leader will help with the common goal and overall production. Sometimes the team members have better ideas than the leader. Make sure you pick someone who will know the subject better than the people, and be willing to validate and work other’s ideas into their plan. It’s not about having a leader who “knows better” than their people… it’s about finding one who will coordinate the visions of their people.
Lastly, strategically place your talent. This goes back to having people on your team who are professionals at what they do. You need a team that takes their section or subject matter even further than you, the leader, can imagine. You manage the skills, they manage tasks.
It’s a win-win for team who know how to put people in the right spot at the right time. It pays off when you get to know your team and where their strengths and weaknesses lie—a good manager knows how to use the talent on their team for incredible results.