Take-Aways That Keep On Giving

When was the last time you attended a business seminar or presentation and walked away with a message that stuck with you? Sometimes the simplest things end up informing your approaches to tasks or dilemmas—year after year.

The specific example I’m thinking of was a seminar presented by a woman from Starbucks, probably 10 years ago. Her title was “Innovation Team Leader” and her team’s purpose was to think up new products. They had ambitious goals and she spoke about how they worked to achieve them. These are the two take-aways that have stuck—and proven valuable to me time and again:

Take-away 1: To be a successful team leader, you don’t have to be the person with all of the ideas or knowledge or creativity. That’s why you have a team.

Take-away 2: The best-performing team will include a little something of everything. You need the big-picture dreamer, the practical person who can execute, the naysayer who will point out potential pitfalls, the financial expert who helps you understand the return on investment…you get the idea.

While it’s human nature to want to work with people who are like you, resist the temptation! Populate your team with people who are different from you—and each other.