Five must-haves for team members

Mar 01 2012 by Mark Miller Print This Article

One of the most important decisions you and I make as leaders is, "Who's on our team?" The results you'll pursue will change over time, skills can be developed and community can be strengthened. However, if you have the wrong people around the table, your ultimate success will always be in jeopardy.

Here are a few questions that may be helpful as you select your team.

Q: Does this person want to be on a team?

I've worked with some very talented people during my career who were not team players. They were gifted in their area of expertise, but for whatever reason, they wanted to be an individual contributor. I've tried to convert some of these folks to team players. It didn't work.

Q: Are they willing to contribute in a team setting?

Do you know people that want to be part of something without getting their hands dirty? You sometimes see this in a team setting. You may find individuals who enjoy the team vibe, but they may not want to contribute to the hard work of actually making the team work. If you can discern this before you put someone on the team -- don't.

Q: Is this individual a learner?

The second ingredient in creating a high-performance team involves learning new skills. If the men and women on your team are too busy, arrogant, stubborn or unable to learn, they'll not be good team members.

Q: Do they resonate with the vision & values of the team/organization?

When building a team, you have a fundamental choice around this question. Are you looking for people who already "get it" or are you looking for people to "win over" to your point of view. I'd rather start with people who share a common passion for the cause.

Q: Do you sense that they could become great at what they do?

This is where your intuition as a leader comes into play. I don't know how to test for this - but you know it when you see it. Whenever possible, I select people for my team who I believe have greatness in their future.

Bonus Question: If you're building a leadership team, don't forget to ask the important question . . .

Q: Can this person lead?


About The Author

Mark Miller
Mark Miller

Mark Miller is co-author of "Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life", and is vice president, training and development, for restaurant group, Chick-fil-A.