A Diverse Team - On the Bus in the Right Seats!
One of the keys to an effective team is diversity of strengths. Having a collection of people that cover each other's weaknesses is extremely valuable and not something that happens often by chance. It's something you have to consciously cultivate however the payoff is massive both in terms of team performance and personal happiness.
The moment I realised that we could recruit talented people to cover every single one of my weaknesses (and there are plenty!) was the day I truly progressed as a Leader. Understanding that when we build a group of talented and motivated people with complementary strengths, we each can focus on the areas that we have the potential to be great at, love doing and bring boundless enthusiasm too. Basically, it helps to make all of us happier and more fulfilled.
“Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
Jim Collins - Author of Good to Great
A simple tool we have enjoyed using is Strenthsfinder. Essentially, each person completes 20 mins of questions to determine what they believe they are good at and enjoy doing and what they aren't as good at and maybe don't enjoy as much. It ranks your strengths in 34 areas from 1st to 34th and the general principle is that you're more likely to excel if you focus on developing what you are good at, rather than trying to be competent at everything. This is certainly a philosophy we wholeheartedly endorse.
(DISCLAIMER - I'm not suggesting this is full proof by any means however we have found it to be very accurate when compared to performance in these tasks in the real world)
Check out Strenthsfinder fully to understand the definitions of each heading, they each represent a set of 8 strengths. So, this is how 4 members of our team look when you plot their top 10 strengths on a graph.
Here are the results of just the top 5 strengths for those same 4 members of the team. Based on Gallup’s' data and research the real potential of these 4 team members lyes in these core areas. Instead of expecting everyone to be equally as good at everything and treating everyone the same, we play people to their strengths supporting their development into the areas where they can be great and add huge value to the business.
We support this by having 1-2-1 meetings every 12 weeks and reviewing how each person in our team is working to these 5 strengths. The results are, people enjoy and excel in performing their roles in our team, they are on career paths to develop in the areas they are strongest and most enjoy, our partners benefit from getting better solutions for their challenges and our business grows, everybody is happier and more fulfilled.
In order for us to be able to invest the time and effort into this, we have made sure we have recruited the right people to fit our team in the first place. Once you have the right people on board, every effective effort to support their development is an investment for you.
So, if you want to build strong diverse teams:
Step 1 - Get the right people on your bus
Step 2 - Get them in the right seats
Thanks for reading
Don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more