We wrap up the main part of the conversation with Sam McNeill as we mention difficult conversations.  That is a perfect start for his stories about building a team and maintaining high morale. Next, we discuss roles and cross-training in the wild without getting into the academic terms and suggestions.  Take notes as this is a valuable conversation.

Difficult Conversations

Sam mentions the book about dysfunctional teams and difficult conversations.  There is a link below to learn more about this book from Patrick Lencioni.  We move forward from there to see how Sam has managed to sort of avoid difficult conversations.  Yes, they still exist.  However, they are not so difficult when everyone is on the same team and shares goals.  People can self-select themselves out of places they don’t feel comfortable and would not be very productive.  Leadership is still required, but it tends to be more player-coach in its approach, and everyone feels valued.


We wrap up this episode talking about how he has grown his team. First, he found areas where he needed help.  Then he found people that could provide the needed skills. Of course, there is always overlap and a need to avoid people falling into ruts.  Nevertheless, filling skill and experience gaps are important steps during the early growth of a team.  The unmentioned part of all of this is chemistry.  It may seem hard to find someone that does not get along with a personality like Sam, but we all get on each other’s nerves at times.  The important part of building a team is finding people that generally gel while still being comfortable and different enough to raise questions.  We want to row the same way while keeping a lookout that we are not rowing in the wrong direction.

A Little Background

Voted as a Top Five Speaker in Spice Magazine’s Hot 100, Sam McNeill – SongDivision GM for UK & Europe – is an in-demand Corporate MC and accredited DiSC Facilitators.  Sam has hosted over 600 interactive face-2-face and online experiences.  These include musical team-building workshops, gala awards events, and product launches on five continents.

Sam’s accolades include winning ‘Future Leader’ awards for Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Sam is also a member of Connect Corporate’s esteemed list of ’40 under 40’ industry professionals.

Sam’s professionalism and energy have made him a favorite among some of the biggest brands in the world, including Coca- Cola, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Spotify, and Fujitsu, and Virgin.

Sam earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Studies (Classical Voice) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Learn More

You can learn more about Sam’s work and the organization he loves by visiting the Song Division website.  If you think they might be able to help you, then give him a call.

Another Useful Link:

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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