Nov 12, 2010

Developing a WINNING Project Team

Developing a WINNING Project Team is among top goals for every project manager. However how to make such a perfect combination is a million dollar question.

Nikos Mourkogiannis thinks there are four types of team members:
-    Magicians: Imaginative, full of powerful ideas, innovators
-   Lovers: Emotional, care about human relations & building coalitions. These are masters in engagement.
-    Sovereigns: Focused on big picture, analyze everything to see if that is leading to end goal or not. They are strong believers and make others belief too.
-   Warriors: Pragmatic, rational, pay attention to facts, only focus on battlefront that is in front of them. They can lead team through thick and thin.

Nikos's observation on team member's behavior is very interesting. When I look back at my experience of working with difference teams on different projects, I am able to exactly pin point which particular team member was a warrior, lover, magician or a sovereign. I would encourage you to look back at your project experiences and see how accurate Nikos's observation is. 
If we further analyze different team characters, one fact that comes up clearly is that team should be a balanced combination of different team members. Both 'balanced' and 'combination' are the keywords - because if your team is not a combination of all types of team members, your team would be lacking some excellent qualities. On the other hand, if your team has a combination of different types of team members but a certain kind of members dominate, it would have negative impact on your project. Following are few scenarios to further elaborate this point:
-    Too many magicians: Excellent ideas but lack in implementation
-   Too many lovers: Too many meetings, excellent team bond but lack of competitiveness and edge
-    Too many sovereigns: No center of gravity, too many directions
-   Too many warriors: Firefighting or reactive mode, no innovation or proactivity. Team might miss overall end goal.

Therefore, we can conclude a balanced mix of magicians, lovers, sovereigns and warriors will get you the best team possible.

What about Project Manager?
Project Manager will inevitable be a magician, a lover, sovereign or a warrior.  However as a project manager, one should think and act outside the box - which means project manager should display good qualities of each kind of team member. Project manager should have a vision and focus of a sovereign, excellent ideas and mesmerism of a magician, focus and will of a warrior and should develop strongly bonded team like a lover. I understand this might be too much to ask for, I personally think I was a warrior who is now understanding art of being a magician and sovereign, but to have this goal of well rounded personality leads you to do a better job as a project leader. 
What are your experiences in team building, please share. I would be delighted to hear about your viewpoint on this. Thanks.

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