There is a guy I know who is incredibly brilliant, but a real detractor in any group he joins. I tend to avoid him, as do most--really all--of the other bright people that I know. Why do they avoid him? Because his caustic interpersonal style destroys teams, quiets insights, and generally shuts down communication. He is a stereotypical technogeek loner. From my perspective, even given his vast knowledge and skillset, having him on a team is too disrupting to allow it to happen. As a result, it is better to live without his knowledge than to try to make him the part of a team.
Conversely, I know others who are not nearly as brilliant or as experienced, but who are open, willing to help, interested in seeing the result of team effort, and a pleasure to get to know. I am more than willing to populate teams with such people as these, since the combined skills collaborating in a harmonious group with a common purpose will without a doubt achieve more than a smaller more brilliant group of people who cannot agree to a common goal or who are unwilling to work in harmony with one another.
In other words, one of the undoubted keys to success is harmony within the team. Without it, success is difficult or perhaps impossible to achieve. With it, success is almost assured.
As a result, there are two questions to ask when you desire teamwork that will lead to success:
- Do we have a clear purpose that is understood by all of us?
- Are we in harmony as we work together to achieve it?
We'll talk more about these in future entries, but for now, think about it: are you a person that harmonizes well with others? Or are you the caustic person I mentioned at the beginning? This is a very telling self-analysis if you perform it honestly. It can explain a lot...