Many moons ago, in what now seems like a move prompted by the exuberance of youth, four of us applied simultaneously for jobs at the same institution. However; rather than submit separate resumes for the four openings that were posted, we sent one application to the president with a rationale as to why hiring an intact team would positively impact his institution and accelerate the change he was seeking.

One member of the group accepted another position before any resolution was attained on our “package deal” so we withdrew and never heard whether the idea had appeal. But as a supervisor, one of the most challenging tasks is to get individuals to coalesce into a team, so the thought of implanting one has merit.

I think of all that four talented people could do — four with complimentary but diverse skill sets and personalities — but who already knew and trusted each other. Such a team could start a department or take on a major new project with much less lead time than any newly assembled body could do.

In the masterpiece Good to Great, Jim Collins advocates to focus on “first who, then what.” I think his idea has merit not only for individuals, but for collections of them as well. What could a team of “whos” do for your organization? If you have such a posse in place, take care to challenge it and allow it to capitalize on your opportunities. And if you don’t, perhaps you could encourage a group application such as what we submitted.

Good teams aren’t just pieces and parts that can be reassembled with similar results.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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