chapter 10 The People Problem

When we think about teams, we tend to picture the perfect team. Its members are autonomous, intelligent, generous-minded, and quick to fill in where others leave off. The members of this perfect team fall somewhere between angels and the characters sketched in apparel ads.

You need to take this mental picture of the perfect team, fold it into careful squares, set it on a platform, and blow it to smithereens. Because you may live to be 108, but you will never be on anything remotely like a perfect team.

Ideal teams are comprised of perfect people, whose egos and individuality have been subsumed into the greater goal of the team. Real teams—your teams—are made up of living, breathing, and very imperfect people. ...

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