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40% of Your Team’s Effort Is Wasted. These 4 Methods Get Results | TIME

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1) The Formula For A Great Team is The 60/30/10 Rule according to Po Bronson:

60 percent of a team’s success is “Who’s on the team?” And 30 percent of it is how you set up your team. And 10 percent, at most, is leadership.

That 60 percent means you want stars on your team. The notion of having a team of equals doesn’t really bear out in the science. In physics, basketball, immunology… stars rub off. Having to train and compete or work with stars, raises the whole team up.

If you clarify what everybody does, you get the most out of that 30 percent. The science of teams in a business context says that pretty much the number one thing you can do to improve a team performance, is to clarify roles. Ask each member “What’s your job? How do these jobs work together? Who covers for who? How do we handle it?” 

See the other three methods:

3) The best teams are managed occasionally.


To be precise, the best teams only need to be (and are) managed occasionally.  :0)

So therefore if your team doesn't need to be managed occasionally, they are not a best team?

In a sense, though there's a difference between "Managed" and "Coached."  I believe great teams still need occasional coaching, but not necessarily traditional management:

My real point is that merely managing a team occasionally is not sufficient to make them great. :-)


I have found this to be effective:

Manage tasks / goals

Lead / Coach people

A good goal is coach people occasionally. Spend more resources on team leaders. If you are spending too much time coaching, consider if you have the right person for the task. 

So if I understand you correctly, Step 1 is get great team.

Step 2 is let them do their thing.

So... How do we get a great team?

I'd phrase it differently:

* Step 1 is recruiting great people that share a Passion.   

* Step 2 is leading them with the Purpose of becoming a great team.  

* Step 3 is coaching them with the Vision of continually becoming a better team.

I like the idea of 1 & 2 as rallying a group of people around a mission.

Recruiting is harder than it should be, especially at the beginning before anything is real.

I dunno; should not recruiting BE hard?  Isn't that part of the test, to force us to understand both people and the mission well enough to be able to articulate the alignment?

Or is your point that we make recruiting unnecessarily hard by avoiding that lesson?

The latter, but your points are well taken.

If it were easy, we wouldn't appreciate it. 

Response to Adam’s comment to "getting a great team"

Good question. Complicated answer. It can vary for stage of company and type of team.

Some of what I have evolved to think:

 1 Be patient - as much as you need someone, the wrong person can hurt you more than not having someone.   Add calculated risk - Be personable but I'd give people a trail period to prove themselves over and over before bringing them officially on board. I think business and technologies are making all parties make some decisions too fast. Allow yourself time to get a good gut feeling. 

2 Structure - Have clearly defined roles and goals for each position. Understand what type of company structure and culture you want. 

3 Passion - Yes you want them to believe in the core vision. I would keep focus on their passion for what they are hired to do and consider how they can build on that role. However, in a start-up you will be faced with needing multiple hat roles as well as those with specific skill sets. Align your best team leaders possessing great people skills "in the fold".

4 Personalities - Most people with history of team play in their personal lives already know how to work as a team...exception: the hothead.

5 Network - The best people I have worked with have been helpful in finding new hires.



Rare breed and best key players: Those who can lead, follow and share lead.

Find people who you enjoy being around but be careful not to hire people too much like you.

Yes, starting a company and building a team is not easy. It takes time, confidence, and the willingness to take risk. I don’t think it’s for the appreciation we do this, I think we do this because of who we are/want to be.

That's a great answer, Mark. I'm going to come back to your list regularly and re-read it.

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