Spring has sprung, which means my mind turns to—-baseball. I was a “baseball mom” for a dozen years. My son graduated from high school last year and retired from the sport. Between you and me, I am in withdrawal. I gaze wistfully at ball diamonds full of players on my route home from work. I am in awe of my freed-up schedule. This new-found time on my hands has caused my mind to turn toward—work, even more.
As I drove home last night, I glanced to my right just as a third baseman executed a clutch play. Witnessing that caused me to reflect on the “position players” of baseball—how each brings a specific strength that contributes to the team’s chemistry and ability to win. This should be true with your work team as well. Just as a baseball team needs players with a certain talent or expertise, your work team needs a similar composition.
The Anatomy of a Winning Team: Do You Have the Position Players You Need?
Think of your organizational chart. Do you have the following “position players?”
-The Dreamer/Visionary: The dreamer or dreamers are the ones on your team with the ideas. As a matter of fact, they have ideas for their ideas. The Dreamer’s favorite movie? Field of Dreams (of course). “You build it, and they will come.”
-The Realist: This team member may be accidentally perceived as “the wet blanket.” They are full of the facts and figures that can quash the Dreamer’s expectations. The Realist, however, is not to be confused with…
-The Contrarian: This brave person is not afraid to stand on their own with the thought of how they think things should be done. Sometimes their thoughts inadvertently provide a fork in the road.
-The Cheerleader works hard to keep spirits up. The Cheerleader encourages everyone – the Dreamer, the Realist, the Contrarian…The Cheerleader has ten positive thoughts for each negative one. As you might expect, the cheerleader fires up the team.
–The Coach brings it all together. The Coach sets the direction and develops the strategy of how to get from “here” to “there.” The Coach chooses decisively when faced with the fork in the road. The Coach possesses all the best of the Dreamer, the Realist, the Contrarian and the Cheerleader…but also has an extra dose of “grit” to get the team moving. The Coach also fosters the culture the organization needs to succeed.
–The Worker Bee toils tirelessly in helping the coach execute the plan. The Worker Bee knows how to operate in a smart, “cross-functional” manner.
–The “Utility” Player can wear many hats in the organization—and is willing to do so. Even better, the Utility Player is “all about” learning new skills.
-The Stickler knows that success lies in the details. The Stickler makes the lists, and is the accountability partner that propels the team forward.
Did I leave anyone off? Please let me know if I did. Omitting even one of these key positions can lead to an imbalance that impedes progress.
Is Your Team Out of Whack?
Sometimes it is not obvious your team is out of whack–without the right players in the right positions. That is when it is helpful to have a pro create clarity.
There are assessment tools available to help you evaluate the composition on your team. Our Centennial team recently took the HBDI. The exercise was led by one of our Centennial and Talent Magnet Institute colleagues, Brenda Gumbs. The HBDI measures “thinking preferences” of teams. HBDI’s “Whole Brain Model” suggests that there are 4 types of thinkers—
- Analytical (logical, fact based, quantitative)
- Experimental (holistic, experimental, integrating, synthesizing)
- Relational (interpersonal, feeling-based, emotional)
- Structural (organized, planned, detailed)
(Can you guess what type of thinker the Coach is? The Dreamer? The Realist?)
After taking the assessment, Brenda had each “thinking type” stand in a different corner of the room. That visual pointed to gaps on our team. Interestingly, the majority of our company were “relational.” (Which is not surprising —executive search is for those who greatly value relationships.) Only one team member was “analytical.” (Our Finance Manager!) The rest were evenly spread between experimental and structural.
While we didn’t make any major changes to our team after this exercise, we have found it helpful simply knowing this information. When the time comes for us to add to our team, the thinking types we already have will help guide the hiring process.
Do you know the thinking types of your team? We thought we knew ours, until we realized we didn’t.
Let Us Help You Win
Do you have the players you need to win at your business? Can your “Coach” get your team to the finish line?
The Talent Magnet Institute – powered by Centennial, has the tools to ensure that you attract, develop and retain the players you need to win. Don’t be left wondering if you have the “right” team in place. And, don’t wait until “the October” of your year to find out that you had a gap in the outfield. We are here to help you make the clutch plays you need to succeed. Contact us for a free consultation!