Who is on your Dream Team
People like people like them.
Some years ago I decided that I wanted to lose weight, and I thought what better way to start than by asking a friend of mine who had recently lost over 140 lbs or 63 kg. Well, it turned out that he had achieved his weight loss by joining a particular slimming club, so I decided to do the same. A group met near my workplace and I could easily get along after work one evening a week.
Before long I had lost over 20 lbs, and I felt that I had learned all there was to learn about their particular diets etc. and found myself sitting with a group of ladies who were discussing various menus and other girly things, and I started to lose interest in the meetings.
I discovered that I could join a gym for the same price as the slimming club and I could pop along during my lunch break. Soon after that I started to cycle to work too and I was well on my way to getting to my “fighting weight” and within 6 months I was back into my wedding suit! I even started to do some cycle racing on my mountain bike and discovered my finishing position was improving with every race as I got lighter and fitter.
Whenever I met someone else that had lost some weight we had the inevitable discussion about which method we had used, and disagreement over which method was the best: was it Slimming World or Weight Watchers, perhaps it was Beachbody, or simply the 5:2 diet.
When my circumstances changed and I needed to move to a new gym I discovered that each gym also had a unique culture and its followers too. The one I had started to go to was a run by an ex Power-Lifter and it attracted a good number of members that were drawn to this hobby. They were all about a single lift of a very heavy weight. Now that’s not what I was looking to do and they were all very pleasant, but they seemed to prefer each other’s company when working out.
I discovered something similar in the cycle club that I joined. Well, I had wanted to learn how to cycle “properly” during my weight loss program so I embarked on a Cycle Coaching Course, to train as a cycling coach to coach myself! I had to be a member of an approved club to do that so I found a local club and joined up. I soon found that the mountain bikers were viewed with some suspicion by the road bike community, and I was strongly encouraged to participate in some of the events of the road bikers, like the Sunday club run, local time trials and some road races.
The thing I discovered was that nothing divides people like a common hobby or interest. Now at first sight that seems a strange thing to say, but my experience seems to support that premise. What I mean by that, is that in cycling for example although all are cyclists, the roadies tend to stick with the roadies, and the mountain bikers tend to stick with the mountain bikers, and neither mingle with the BMX fraternity!
What’s more, it’s actually very evident at work too. People like people like them, and that’s known in leadership terms as “the law of magnetism”. Unless the manager is aware of that law and does something to counteract it then their team usually ends up being filled with people that are very similar in terms of strengths, culture and interests.
Who you attract is not determined by what you want. It’s determined by who you are.
~ John Maxwell
Strong leaders tend to attract strong leaders, extroverts tend to attract extroverts, and creative spontaneous types tend to attract creative spontaneous recruits. That’s all very well for getting along easily with everyone else in the team, but not always the best mix to generate the most effective team outcomes.
So what can you do to improve the variety of the people that you recruit for your team? That’s a particularly important question to ask for a small team or a small company trying to grow. Well, there are actually TWO things that you can do. The first is “get good” at a skill or attribute that you want to attract. If you’re strong at leadership but less capable at team building then that’s a good skill to develop in yourself in order to attract team builders.
For some attributes, this may work well for you where they are already one of your strengths, at least at first. Sooner or later, however, you will have to intentionally go after people who complement your strengths or find someone else who does display the characteristics that you are seeking to get involved in the recruitment process.
In order to build the dream team, you first need to identify and understand your own strengths, as these will also be evident in the people that are naturally attracted to join you. It is really important at this early stage, however, to identify the characteristics that are not your strengths that will be valuable to your growth and make sure to put a particular focus on to attracting that kind of person into your team.
If you haven’t already identified your strengths take a moment right now to write down your strengths in one column and the strengths that you want to attract in another, and then look for those that you have missing from your list and make them a focus for your recruitment program.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.