My snowshoeing gear is like a high-functioning team.
It’s made up of bits and bobs that at first glance might look like they clash, but when put together are just what’s needed for high performance.
Last week we got a nice snow dump and I took the opportunity to get out on my snowshoes with the pup.
One thing is certain: no one will ever pay me to be an outdoor gear influencer on Instagram. That would at a minimum require clothes that match.
Instead, I focus on gear that I need and that works for me. I don’t care what it looks like. It ends up as a hodge-podge of new and second-hand gear, none of it from the same company or retailer, with no concern about if it matches or clashes. My concern is that it works together and provides the functionality I need.
(And of course, there is the half-St. Bernard dog, the workhorse to pull me up the hill.)
Yep, this mishmash of equipment won’t land me any endorsements, but it does what it’s supposed to: it keeps me warm and safe, fits, and performs.
It’s much like the best teams I’ve worked with, led, and supported.
The best teams, the highest performing teams, are made up of a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and personalities.
These teams might not make sense on the surface, but when put together with intentionality, they’re capable of incredible performance.
These teams have the talent in place to meet the variety of challenges that will be thrown at them, to take risks, to ask challenging questions, to push each other to be better, and to make up for each other’s gaps.
And yes, this requires a leader who understands the value of having a differentiated team, who assembles that team and then nurtures it by leveraging the strengths of each team member to achieve results as a team.
Take a minute and look around at your team. Do you see diversity? I’m talking demographic diversity, yes, as well as the diversity of experience, thought, and background.
Or do you see homogeneity?
It’s easy to hire for homogeneity. It’s safe. It’s a known quantity.
Yet it’s proven that diverse teams perform better. Gartner research reveals that “differences of age, ethnicity, gender, and other dimensions foster high performance.”
Leaders, as you build your teams, it’s on you to pull together just the right people to form a high-performing team.
As you do so, keep in mind that, much like my snowshoe gear, the team you assemble might not make sense at first glance. But if you’re intentional about getting the skills you need AND building a diverse team, what others might label the “land of misfit toys” will be the team who surprises them all and Gets. It. Done.
PS–If you’re ready to take your team performance to the next level, reach out and let’s chat about how to get there.
#teamdevelopment #executiveteam #leadership