Building Strength Through Differences

Adding new people to your team is exciting. It often means you’re growing. It gives you the opportunity to bring on new talent, to add someone who brings new strengths that you don’t currently have on your team.

So what kind of person do you look to hire? Well, it’s human nature to surround ourselves with people who are a lot like us. People who share the same interests and have the same sense of humor. And that’s understandable. After all, we want the new guy (or gal) we hire to fit well within the team.

However, I’d like to challenge us to think of “fitting in” differently when building on and improving your team’s synergy and performance.

Think of your team as a jigsaw puzzle. You want the pieces to fit together nicely, but that doesn’t mean every piece must be exactly alike. In fact, each one is extremely different; yet all the pieces fit perfectly together. This is how great teams are formed.

One Great Thing About Great Teams

Great teams have teammates with different opinions, and as a leader, that’s exactly what I want. If I surround myself with like-minded teammates, then I miss new opinions and different points of view. If we all share the same opinion, our strength as leaders is weakened because like-minded opinions won’t bring out the best in the leader or the team.

So are you secure enough to surround yourself with people of different opinions? Many titled leaders believe they must be the ones to chart the course, dictate direction, and possess all the answers. But a secure leader knows that they must direct a team that makes that happen; not be the one who makes it happen.

The best leaders keep the vision out front and rally a team of unique thinkers around them. The leader who thinks they must provide the answers seldom has the best idea in her head. Most of the time the idea comes from a team of individuals with different opinions.

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