Dan Maxwell
February 12, 2019
Leaders Value Teams


An effective leader appreciates the value of teams – especially those who want to grow their business.

We’ve all heard: “No man is an island” (John Donne), or “It takes a village …” (in the African proverb for raising children). These are more than just sayings for those who want to build something greater than themselves.


The obvious reason is time. There are only so many hours in a day.

An entrepreneur may start a business, a manager launch a project, or CEO commission a major expansion; but it can take years of effort to reach the goal – more hours than any single person can squeeze into any day, week or month.

The second reason leaders need teams, is talent.

As gifted as any leader may be, no one “has it all” when it comes to natural ability.

Someone who launches a business around an innovative product, may struggle with management and watch their operation crumble for lack of good organization. Others may fail to reach their full potential for lack of sales skills. And many are troubled by poor administrative ability.

The point is … whether a marketing initiative, strategic plan, or technology upgrade, it takes a team to fill the holes with full skillset required to grow a business.

An entrepreneur in the travel industry, put it like this: “… you need to look for people who complement your skills ….” (Report on Small Business, p. 17, June, 2012.)

And then he adds: “You have to find people who fill your weaknesses.”

This points to the ultimate reason for a team – reflected in the word traits.

Personality traits (enduring characteristics) go deeper than talent, because:

  • without high sociability, sales skills are difficult to apply – there’s just too much talking with too many people
  • without high assertiveness, every decision is difficult – there’s too much risk and potential to offend others
  • without high detail, administrative work is painful – there are too many i’s to dot and t’s to cross

Dr. John Cloud unpacks this well in the podcast “5 Keys to Future Success” (Entre Leadership Podcast #288 – especially, minutes 10-12).

Bottom line: every leader needs the time, talent, and most importantly, traits of multiple individuals to accomplish what they envision.

Leaders, do you have the kind of team that not only puts in the time and uses their skills – but more importantly, fill the “gaps” in your personality traits?