Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, his exhaustive study of great teams and leaders.
He holds Nucor up as a prime example of perfect team building. These guys were so devoted they chased lazy employees out of the factory.
And the best people are worth it.
Yes, they’re that much better. There are Michael Jordans in every industry.
Office workers are no different.
And the above is probably just worthless and depressing information to almost everyone reading this.
You know why?
Most people don’t work with the top 2 percent
You’re probably shocked some of your co-workers can dress themselves and find the door out of the house in the morning.
With good reason. A lot of people are just plain dumb.
This is why team building can be a nightmare and most advice is useless: Everyone says “get the best” and that’s rarely an option.
What’s a far more realistic approach?
How do you find diamonds in the rough?
How can you do Moneyball in the average workplace and find the undervalued players who already surround you?
Look For The Round Peg In The Square Hole
Put an A player in an impossible role and PRESTO! — watch them become indistinguishable from a C player.
This is what the investigative commission realized after the Columbia space shuttle tragedy — NASA was so badly organized that it made good employees into poor performers.
Look for the obviously bright people who are struggling in spots where they’re all but set up to fail.
When you’re team building, those are the people you want to steal.
This is how Brad Bird made the Pixar film “The Incredibles.” He targeted the brilliant but floundering.
In an interview with McKinsey Quarterly he said:
And with that he made a great movie and helped keep innovation alive at Pixar.
He Makes Ten Times As Many Errors? PERFECT!
You might want to consider that employee who makes ten times as many errors.
Teams that reported 10 times the number of errors had the best leadership and best coworker relationships.
Everybody makes errors. These teams actually reported them all. So they learned. And got better. And trusted each other.
The real danger was the people who were sweeping errors under the rug — but those are the people who got the best reviews from bosses.
We rarely get the obvious A players.
But the true A players are not always obvious.
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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.