Two necessities for you to lead a great team

Monday, July 26, 2010 gc 3 Comments

Great design needs a great team. Great teams operate at level of hyper-productivity and efficiency. A cohesive group is more than the sum of its parts. With great teams, amazing products and solutions emerge. It is the invisible engine that makes a company money.

Leading a great team does not have to be complicated. In my view, there are two necessities to lead a great team:

  • Authenticity: you need to be authentic for your team. Be yourself. Developers are too smart. If you are not authentic, then you create distance between you and your team. This is true for team members as well. Distance, gaps, walls are not paths to hyper-productivity and excellence.
  • Collaboration: great teams are hungry to collaborate. Collaboration builds trust. Antithetically, if you don't collaborate, it will breed distrust. 

Of course there are many other things great teams need: respect, courage, passion, critical thinking, and, of course, communication. Great teams also need a place or forum where they can say anything: like design sessions. In order to lead a great team, you need authenticity and collaboration.


Members of great teams are passionate, positive, and courageous. These members don't listen to their
lizard brain either. Oppositely, toxic members can destroy great teams.

Being a part of great team is supposed to be fun. Are you doing it right? Is your team great?

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3 comments:

byron appelt said...

I think many people do not understand how much damage a "toxic" member can do to a team, particularly when they are also a "superstar". Often people allow themselves to think it is okay to put up with a person's toxic tendencies because they are so productive, not realizing that the damage caused by toxicity of a team member can easily outweigh any amount of single person productivity and can sometime be company destroying.

Greg Cowin said...

Byron: Thank you for the feedback. I bet you would like this podcast from Manager Tools about how to handle an arrogant producer:

http://www.manager-tools.com/2010/01/how-manage-arrogant-producer

There are a lot of managers that could benefit from their behavior feedback model.

Greg Cowin said...

Byron: by the way, I totally agree with your point.