Exploiting and connecting talents
A great example of this in action is the England national rugby union team. While I’m not the biggest sporting fanatic, I can’t help but admire the work head coach Eddie Jones has been doing with the squad and management. He has taken them from a collectively poor performance at the 2015 Rugby World Cup to a fit, confident, winning, team.
What’s remarkable is that he has done this with predominately the same players.
So what’s changed? From what I can see, it’s down to gaining a clear understanding of the unique talents he has available to him within the squad. He and his team – including the players themselves – have worked out how best to exploit and connect those talents. Having done this groundwork, Jones is now able to optimise the skills around him to achieve success for the players, fans and country.
Of course, this “there is no I in team” perspective is not groundbreaking. However, I find that sometimes, as a leader or a highly talented individual, it’s easy to think you are above those around you; to believe that you are the only expert. When you start to believe this, you do a disservice to yourself and your company.
As Greek philosopher Aristotle said, you must recognise that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
What we can achieve when working together as a team is far more effective, impactful, and successful than individual accomplishments. Every individual has strengths, but when we put these together in a perfect formula we can create something more successful than could possibly have been created by individuals, working to their own objectives.
This is why I believe, had I not surrounded myself with people who are experts in what they do – and in most cases, much better than me in their area of expertise – that we would not have achieved so much success as a business.