P. Edronkin

The Right Team, The Right Stuff

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Choosing the right team to perform any task is a long, often tedious and hard thing to do but the difference between preparation and lack of it is perhaps more evident than anywhere else within a company, army or group of any kind. Good selection means less work later on, better performance and less trouble managing and leading: well-selected teams are not more efficient just because their members may be more competent in their trade, but due to the fact that they cause much less trouble and generally show more independent activity, more motivation and creativity. Teams of 'unwilling volunteers' or people that are just trying to make a career or score some points for their resumes make very lousy team members.

So the first task of any leader is to discover the motivations that each candidate has. What impulses each person to enter the team or why he or she merits recruitment. The problem is that finding motivated people is easier said than done and in most cases, teams of all kinds will have to do just with what lies at hand. So the second task is to determine realistically how many individuals motivated sincerely by vocation are needed to make the teamwork at a minimum degree of efficiency; the goal for the 'headhunting' that will follow should be this one. Leaders and recruiters will have to get what they can and then consider that any other members will be there just passing by. Over time, they will certainly be able to continue filling posts within the team with highly motivated individuals, but this will be done on a one-by-one basis, slowly and patiently.

An optimal team structure will have a majority of motivated individuals that show vocation for staying put; if all team members were like this, things would work perfectly. However, in some cases it would be advisable to fill a number of positions with inexperienced or non-motivated workers, athletes, explorers, soldiers, etc. These will perform duties in which using motivated people would be overkill.This prevision will also allow for selection of future team members, as individuals rotate in such positions. Renewing the members of the team is something that should be held as a continuous task for leaders and recruiters: motivated people also have the right to be promoted, to earn higher status or more money: after some time, if nothing comes in that regard, they will fly away.

So promotions will be needed and in many cases, that will mean that promoted team members will be better used in other positions, of more responsibility and productivity. Thus, the position that they occupied until the day that they were promoted will have to be filled with someone else and if the team leader has done the homework well and kept recruiting new people, he or she will stand better chances of finding the replacement for those who leave the team in question.

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