Berger Leadership Blog

How to create a successful team

NAFCU employeesWhen hiring, we look for employees whose experience and skills will elevate our organization. And even outside the business world – like in sports – leaders are willing to spend big bucks to get the best.

But talent isn't the only thing that equals success. Each of us have unique personalities and characteristics that influence the way we interact with others.

An article on Kellogg Insight – from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management – examines research that sought to determine which matters more: talent or teamwork. While the researchers analyzed the success of sports teams, those findings are easily translated to business. Because in the end, we're all pushing ourselves and our organizations to "win."

The researchers determined that talent is a big component of success. You need strong employees that have the knowledge, skills and motivation to win. But an individual's success can't buoy your entire organization. That's where the ability to work with others comes into play.

I recently wrote about the importance of workplace culture to ensure employees are fulfilled, and a talented person with a bad attitude or poor interpersonal skills can derail a team. It's important to consider personal traits, in addition to skill, when hiring.

Another component the researchers looked at was previous success of working with existing teammates. As with any relationship, when you've been around someone for an extended period of time you learn their strengths and weaknesses. This familiarity makes it easier to build off one another's assets in addition to knowing where to step up. But, the researchers warn, this can lead teams to "develop new types of blind spots."

Leadership is full of challenges, and hiring is no exception. While building a successful team might not be straightforward, this research offers a number of considerations to help. To me, it makes clear that hiring motivated individuals who are willing to work hard and share success is key.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association's reputation into becoming a premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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