Building Your Dream TEAM – Overcoming the All-Star Fallacy
I’m reading a great book on ethics and enjoyed its chapter on common logical fallacies. We’re all quite prone to some of them, and “You do it Too!” seems to sum up contemporary political “dialogue.” One fallacy in particular caught my eye – the Composition Fallacy: “Assuming that a group possesses the characteristics of its individual members.” (from Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, by Kenneth Pope and Melba Vasquez.)
Or, “My All Star Team will be awesome because it has awesome players.”
Sometimes this works out, but it’s not just because the team has great players. It must also function as a great team. The coach of THE Dream Team (’92 Men’s Olympic Basketball) was so aware of this fallacy’s temptation that he may have rigged a scrimmage to help overcome it and show the NBA stars that they could be beat.
Regardless of the individuals, it takes YOU, the leader, to make your team great. It also takes a decision by each individual member to put in the effort.
The military distinguishes between individual and collective (group) tasks. In infantry and special operations units, having expert shooters is critical. However, those expert shooters alone do not win the battle. Rather, the team has to operate well together, which means overcoming countless frictions that stand in the way. And you, the leader, have the responsibility to foster and guide that process for your organization.
General Stanley McChrystal in Team of Teams noted that “The purpose of [SEAL training] is not to produce supersoldiers. It is to build superteams.”
How are you building your Superteam?
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