IN MID-1998, I found myself at a curious place in my career as an observer of organizational behavior. Over the previous decade, my work inside some of the most successful companies in the emerging global economy had provided me a front row seat at a very interesting spectacle. As Partnerwerks associates and I worked to support the implementation and maintenance of high-performance teams in client firms, we began to witness again and again just how powerfully certain individuals’ behavioral strategies impacted the effectiveness of entire teams.

Even though we were witnessing these strategies on a daily basis, we could find little written advice about how individual behavioral choices impact team effectiveness. So I began writing down ...

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