Dream Team Or Team Dream

A Critical Doer works as hard to develop strength of character as strength of talent


One of my personal exemplars in leadership is the fabled Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.  Amongst his many pearls of wisdom, this one had a profound impact on me:

Rockne best 11


It’s an interesting piece of philosophy that in his hiring decision, he doesn’t consider individual talent alone.  His final decision is based upon whether that talent can be used effectively to accomplish a “team’s dream.”

On the other hand, …


This is a famous shot of the 2004 USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team…infamously dubbed “the dream team.”  Without question, this was a group of individuals with talent beyond comparison.  But that’s the point…they were a collection of individuals that never clicked as a team and it showed as they failed to win the gold.  They were a “dream team” that failed to reach a “team dream.”

All too often we approach hiring in business and in volunteer civic activities with the flawed philosophy that assembling talent alone will bring success; it’s nearly the same flawed philosophy that enough money in and of itself is equivalent to a good strategy.

It’s well known that your selection of people for key jobs is a fundamental element of success.  If you are making that decision based upon talent alone and not considering (1) personality fit with other members of the team (2) does this person bring strengths that complement others and do others have strengths that complement your prospective hire (3) in casual conversation does the prospective hire seem to have figured out how to “put the I in team”, you may want to rethink this hire and reconsider others.

Your challenge is to never lose sight that when you are hiring an individual, you are doing it within the context of building a team.  You can take the “dream team” approach and assemble extraordinary talent that makes a dysfunctional team, or you can take Knute Rockne’s approach and consider hiring holistically and assemble a group capable of reaching a “team dream.”  Based upon track record, my money is on Knute Rockne and yours should be too,  That’s what a Critical Doer would…do!

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Updated: January 9, 2016 — 3:06 pm