Building Your Team of Superstars

Great leadership requires more than a great vision. It requires self-awareness, humility, and emotional intelligence. Great leaders surround themselves with great people. They know they can’t do it alone, they’re self-aware of what works for them, where they have weaknesses and they create a climate around them that fosters success. Before you can even consider building a team of superstars, you need to reflect on yourself and the impact you have on those around you.

If you’re stuck in the middle and want to take your performance and your team’s performance to the next level, create a climate that inspires others. Be aware, look around and engage your people, say hello…and wait for a response. If you build the foundation for your team’s success, you’ll see returns come more quickly. People want to follow, it’s our natural instinct, we look to authority to help guide us, but we’re fickle and highly opinionated.

As you begin to shape the climate of your team, look for opportunities to build a high performing team. The job market is starting to shake out and open up, people are starting to move around a bit, and building a team of superstars requires that you have a good mix of diverse ideas, opinions and people. If you want A-players on your team, but currently feel like you have the B-team, it’s time you start making moves.

1. Look for other internal opportunities for people on your team

2. Craft development opportunities through work projects for your people

3. Work with other leaders to put together cross-functional teams

4. Learn who your internal talent is

5. Keep scanning the horizon to bring in new talent

6. Take a risk on someone internal that you believe in

Brian Uzzi of Northwestern and Jarrett Spiro of Stanford researched the success of Broadway shows by looking at the composition of the team that was assembled to create and run the show.  Their findings have implications for how we assemble our teams and for talent management in general. Through their research, they were able to show that success was dependent upon a mix of new and old blood and the group’s ability to involve their former networks to get work done.

If you want to build a team of superstars, start first with yourself, become self-aware and set the foundation for success by influencing your climate. Then, start looking for a good mix of old and new, build a team that is resourceful, creative and networked. You’ll see the returns if you play your part right.

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