A manager, whose organization is falling behind schedule, laments: “We’ve got world-class talent. All-star capability. But we’re like a swim team – and we need to be a volleyball team.”
“What do you mean,” I ask.
“Swimmers are only responsible for doing their best as individuals. They swim by themselves, and score points,” he answered. “Volleyball players have to do their best – and, they have to do it in coordination with others. They have to time their moves. Play to each other’s greatest strengths. Follow a game plan. They have to be a team.”
If the talent in an organization can’t work together, there might as well be no talent. Talent fails when leadership fails. Knowing we have to work together doesn’t mean we can – or will.
Ask your team: “Do you know how – and are you – setting your peers up for greater success? Are we leaving potential unrealized?”
Which would you place a bet on: A collection of top talent that doesn’t work together? Or a team of mediocre talent that can leverage each other’s strengths?