In my years of managing and coaching, I have found that the most significant challenge is often building a team out of the individuals.  A good team will have a diverse cast of characters.  This diversity is essential for the team to be successful.  However, that means that a leader or manager has to find ways to provide benefit to the members of the group.  This task is not a trivial one as you need to keep them focused while still highlighting a diverse set of achievements that appeal to the individuals.

To Each Their Own

Although you are running a team, it helps to talk to each member as an individual.  Understand their goals and plans so you can find ways to further their interests.  This focus on members is not a path you choose over the success of the team.  Instead, you look for opportunities to hand to members that exist within what the team is doing.  This may cause some team members to get more out of project or season than others, but that is ok.  The goal is not equality; it is helping every member advance in some way.  Help them grow, and the team will develop as well.

No team will succeed without a mix of members.  Building a team that is effective requires a superstar or two as well as a large number of role players.  Do not confuse this with queens and worker bees.  Everyone has a part to play, and everyone has work to do.  It is just that the responsibilities and expectations differ from person to person.

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 the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences as well as a few about becoming a better developer. 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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