Who Are My “Oceans Eleven”?
You keep looking at the numbers. Why is that needle not moving in the right direction? The top-line is flat, the margin is declining and expenses are up. This new product line should be delivering great results but instead, it is consuming both cash and organizational bandwidth. Something has got to change and fast. As the leader, it is time to assemble your team and leverage your best minds to overcome the challenge. You must know exactly who to call; your “Ocean’s Eleven”.
This new product line should be delivering great results but instead, it is consuming both cash and organizational bandwidth.
In the movie “Ocean’s Eleven”, Danny Ocean plans to rob a Las Vegas Casino, so he assembles a team to help him. The team is comprised of a motley cast of characters, each of whom has a very specific skill set. On the surface, no one individual looks particularly impressive. But, in the aggregate, the compliment of different skills creates a team capable of overcoming an amazing amount of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Danny Ocean is a smart leader. He knows what he wants and what needs to be done. He clearly understands his own strengths and weaknesses. Further, he recognizes the risks. He seeks to assemble the right team made up of people with the needed skills to get the job done. Together, they pull off one of the greatest, albeit fictional, heists of all times.
He seeks to assemble the right team made up of people with the needed skills to get the job done.
I am not suggesting that you plan to rob a casino, But, it is important as a leader to have a strong team made up of people with specific, unique and needed skills. If you are looking for the blue sky or hoping to solve a chronic challenge, you need a team that includes your big picture thinkers. These are folks who don’t allow their thinking to be constrained by current realities or perceived limits. It helps to have a contrarian or two in the group. They can serve to ground your big picture thinkers, and challenge the assumptions being made by the group. Of course, don’t forget your bean counters or score keepers. These are the guys who help to ensure you put in the needed measurements and triggers. Techies, don’t overlook them. Not only is technology foundational to the success of almost any modern project, in my experience, techies prove to be pretty good process thinkers in general. I like having a few tried and true problem solvers on my team. These are people who have proven to have a knack for critical thinking.Now that you have your thinkers, contrarians, bean counters, techies, and solvers, it is time to add your subject matter experts. Pretty self-explanatory here. If you are working through something in a specific business channel, competitive set or process area, you want to include the people who know it best. So if you put all these people together to work on an opportunity or a challenge, the given outcome is some form of change. That’s why you should have your best “people” people involved. These are your change agents or influencers. Whether the impact will be internal or external, you want those on your team who are best capable and equipped to assist you in helping others navigate the change. That’s my team!
It helps to have a contrarian or two in the group. They can serve to ground your big picture thinkers, and challenge the assumptions being made by the group.
What I have outlined above is an illustration of what a leader’s team might look like. What is important is that you ask yourself the question; “Who are my Ocean’s Eleven?”. Take the time to build a team with the unique, specific and needed skills to help you overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of organizational success.
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Elliot Begoun is the Principal of The Intertwine Group. His articles appear in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and Linked2Leadership. He serves as a thinking partner, providing clients with the clarity, focus, and tools needed to make good people and product decisions. He helps clients build lasting relationships with their customers, develop leaders who make others feel heard, cared for, valued and respected, and most importantly grow.