Michael Jordan played alongside Scottie Pippen, Luc Longley and Dennis Rodman. Warren Buffet has Charley Munger and Greg Abel. Joe Montana had Dwight Clark and Jerry Rice. Thomas Jefferson had John Adams and Aaron Burr (plus a few more). Margaret Thatcher had an army of ministers. Steve Jobs had Steve Wazniak. From leading countries, to companies, to sports teams, each of these bold names have built a legacy and will go down in history as great leaders. But what do each of these leaders have in common? They all had powerful teams behind them.
For every known person, there were countless others in the background supporting and building them up when things got tough. They operationalized and delivered on the leader’s big ideas. The greater the accomplishment by someone, the more you can be certain they had a powerful team supporting them. “Awesome” only begins to describe the team.
But don’t think it’s easier for the leaders whose names you recognize most! For these leaders, it demands a lot to create an environment where highly talented, skilled, and intelligent people can work together to achieve a common goal. It starts with identifying the right roles, the right skill sets, and the right personalities to make it successful. Then, empowering and trusting them to deliver while removing roadblocks and keeping the team focused. When the team accomplishes something great, a celebration is in order!
I think we all have examples where someone was hailed for doing something great, but they created a team environment that was successful. One of the best is the 1980 gold-medal winning USA hockey team. Herb Brooks brought together the right players, created an environment for them to be successful, and brought home the gold (if you haven’t watched it, rent Miracle).
Those who accomplish great things have a team to support them. Though the wrong people can slow you down, the right ones will come together in a way you never thought imaginable and bring success to your projects. Next time you have to lead an initiative, be sure to build a powerful team.