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6 Ideas to Help You Make Your Team Great

Noah Nehlich on Nov 27, 2014 1:00:00 AM

With the long weekend, a lot of people are traveling to spend time with their families. If you’re like us, you probably use your traveling time to catch up on things you’ve been meaning to read.

So if you find yourself with some time to spend this weekend, here are six interesting ideas worth catching up on if you want to make your team great:

Two Great Articles

  • "World-Class Teams." In this classic look at what makes a world-class team great, rugby captain David Kirk identifies what distinguishes the truly exceptional, and shares ideas on how to build your own phenomenal team. One takeaway: he suggests that word-class performers succeed because they see the quest for improvement as a staircase, in which “each match and each training session was both a step upward and at the same time nothing more than a preparation for the next step."
  • "Marketing Myopia." Identified by the Harvard Business Review as a "quintessential big hit," what makes it worth your time? This article looks at what it means to develop a strategy that focuses on "meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products.”

Prefer to watch a video?

  • Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts. Even though surveys reveal that executives tend to assume extroverts make better leaders than introverts (one 2006 survey found "65% of senior corporate executives viewed introversion as a barrier to leadership”), and researchers have found that “96% of managers and executives display extroverted personalities,” it’s also true that “just 50% of the general population is extroverted.” So how best to not just work with, but build a great team that includes both introverts and extroverts? Susan Cain talks about how to strike a balance that will improve everyone’s productivity and creativity.
  • Ken Robinson, How Schools Kill Creativity. Noting that schools and companies alike “stigmatize mistakes,” he argues that “if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” What goes wrong, according to Robinson? “We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it.” He argues that "creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

Have a little more time?

These two books are worth reading.

  • Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. What are the "three core requirements for success”? Atul Gawande pinpoints diligence, doing right, and ingenuity as the necessities. Presenting a case that while “arriving at meaningful solutions is an inevitably slow and difficult process,” Gawande argues that it is always possible: "It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try."
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. Ed Catmull shares his ideas on how Pixar became so successful by revealing what he learned as he set out "to build not just a successful company but a sustainable creative culture.”

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