Our newly inaugurated president is in the midst of selecting the team he will work with to achieve his vision for our country. And while, in his case, many of those selections will require congressional approval, they are nonetheless his choices.
It’s an interesting process to watch. Imagine recruiting and hiring your entire team at one time. For President Donald Trump, that means selecting 15 members of his cabinet to join Vice President Mike Pence on his team—and that doesn’t include hiring for a number of the staff positions that are also critical to his success. It’s a huge undertaking and a daunting task.
For most of us, it’s much more common to be looking to fill a single position. You’re looking for one person with the right set of skills and fit to join your team. Even if it’s a new role within your department, it’s easier to determine the type of person you believe would fit best with the team—because even more important than finding the person with the right experience and skills is finding a person who is the right fit for your team.
In business and sports, more often than not, the team that comes out on top is the one with the best chemistry, not the most talent. That’s not to say talent isn’t important, but it takes more than that for a team to succeed. Legendary baseball player Babe Ruth recognized this truth more than 75 years ago when he observed, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
You need to find individuals with the right skills, experience, and chemistry if you want to put together a winning team. The problem is that “fit” and “chemistry” are hard to define. But Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist for Salesforce, gave us some great advice on building a team when he said, “We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we trust, respect, and care for each other.” Here’s why trust, respect, and caring are so important to your team:
- Trust. Often the most talented people struggle to trust their teammates. They want to rely only on themselves because they know what they’re capable of personally. They’re either unsure or unconvinced that others are as committed or care as much as they do. They don’t trust that their teammates will do their jobs. So they try to compensate by taking on the roles of others, and the results aren’t good. If you have a team member who doesn’t trust his teammates, chances are the results the team achieves will be diminished.
- Respect. There are people who believe that they’re the only ones who can do something successfully. As a result, they act individually instead of as part of the team. They don’t respect their teammates enough to believe that they can do the job, so they try to take over the entire project. When an individual doesn’t respect his teammates, he begins acting alone, and the team’s chances for success are greatly diminished by his selfish approach.
- Care. Teammates must have concern for and care about one another to achieve maximum results. Any time you bring a group of individuals together for a common cause, if they truly enjoy working together and care about one another, they will enjoy greater chances of success. That’s because people who have concern for one another are willing to put aside their own selfish interests and will do what’s best for the others on the team. If they truly care about their teammates, they will go to great lengths to make sure they succeed—together.
Teamwork is critical for success, but identifying the right people and putting them in the right positions so that you have team members who trust, respect, and care about one another is a difficult undertaking that you can’t underestimate. You need to find those who are willing to make a commitment to others to achieve results that none of them could ever experience alone. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have a group of people working together for a common goal.