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How to Build Teams, Not Individual Talent

communication roles and responsibilities symbiosis teamwork

Are you really a team? Or are you maybe just a bunch of really skilled individuals working at the same company? 


There’s a common misconception among venture-backed companies: the belief that a collection of talented individuals automatically constitutes a team. However, talent alone isn't enough to move the needle. The real essence of a team lies not in individual capabilities but in how these individuals collaborate, communicate, and complement each other towards achieving shared objectives.


How Great Teams Operate: Defined Roles

Think sports (and because it’s what I played and coached, let’s talk hockey). In hockey, every player is acutely aware of their role, the end goal, and the strategy to achieve it. They operate within a well-defined system that orchestrates their efforts towards driving the puck closer to the goal. This analogy perfectly mirrors the necessity for defined roles and systems within companies. Without these, even the most talented professionals can find themselves aimlessly "skating" around.


The Magic of Working as a True Team

There's an undeniable rush of energy and a profound sense of achievement that comes from being part of a sports team where everyone's efforts are perfectly aligned. It’s the same magic working as a true team in the business world. There’s concerted effort, unwavering focus, and a shared vision. Crucially, this isn't an automatic outcome of gathering smart individuals in a room; it's a learned behavior, a culture that needs to be meticulously cultivated and nurtured.


Focus, Accountability, and Connection

Building a team that consistently wins in the marketplace requires more than just assembling a group of top-tier professionals. It demands the establishment of focus, accountability, and solid connections among team members. A system where everyone is clear about their role and how it contributes to the larger picture is indispensable. This is where Rucksack comes into play—a system I developed specifically to aid venture-backed companies in cultivating and nurturing high-performing teams. Rucksack offers a comprehensive framework that facilitates seamless collaboration and the achievement of collective objectives.


Attracting top talent is obviously a huge driver of company success. But the real challenge—and the true magic—is melding these individuals into a cohesive, productive unit. It's the difference between merely "skating around in circles" and scoring goal after goal.


You can read more about building winning ream behaviors in Peak Teams, now out on Amazon and Audible.

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