Scott’s Thoughts: Team Magic

“No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet.

Team fist bump!When you’re building a team, whether it’s in real estate, music, or sports, the players can’t be great at the same things. It seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many people are drawn to form partnerships with people who are good at the same things they’re good at.

There’s a natural tendency for people to place a higher value on people who have skills similar to their own. Salespeople respect good salespeople. Writers value talented writers. It’s a form of self-validation. You’re predisposed to like those who mirror your interests and talents.

In the long run, though, you can’t form valuable partnerships if the skill sets of the players are the same. Six great salespeople can be a disaster if there’s not a rock solid office manager behind the scenes, keeping the sales team coordinated. A field full of quarterbacks might score occasionally, but they’ll never win the Super Bowl.

The challenge, then, in team building, is to set aside your bias for those things you’re good at, and learn to place a premium on people who excel at your weaknesses. You have to learn to overcome your insecurity enough to place fair value on talents that you yourself may not hold in as high esteem.

You need to partner with people who can cover your weaknesses. Not only will this prevent you from the frustrating experience of moving from “poor” to “average” in a particular skill, but it will also free you up to go from “talented” to “super genius” in the areas where you excel. If you spend 80% of your time further improving your strengths and 20% of your time finding the people who can cover your gaps, you’ll be well on your way to building a powerhouse team.

Make magic with those who excel where you lag behind.

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