Every team consists of individuals who each have their own strengths and weaknesses. When the strengths outweigh the weaknesses and the team functions like a finely tuned machine, the result is a “dream team” — a group of individuals who, together, can accomplish great things.
The name “dream” implies that this type of assemblage is nonexistent or at least extremely rare (like the 1992 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team that was dubbed “the Dream Team”). But if you think of “dream” not as “impossible” but as “ideal,” you’ll find that putting together your own dream team is easily within the realm of possibility.
First, you need to find the right employees. Here’s where the concept of “top talent” comes into play: whether you’re bringing in employees who are new to the company or drawing on current staff, you’ll want to zoom in on people who have the great skills and experience required for certain roles. (Don’t overlook people who might not yet have the credentials but definitely have clear potential — you and the rest of the team can help them get there!) Be sure to look beyond the resumes. Your goal isn’t to build a “dream individual” — you want someone who can be part of a great team. So pay close attention to personality, “fit” with the rest of the team (and the organization at large), and a general ability to “play well with others.”
Then, once you find the people you want, put them in the right seats.
Leverage each individual’s skills (and interests) so that all of the team members work together well, support each other, and excel in their defined roles. Someone who has amazing culinary skills, a passion for cooking, and zero ability or interest in gardening, will do their best work and make their best contributions to the team when they can wield a whisk — not a trowel — in their hand.
Next, remember that the success of your dream team of top-notch employees depends not just on their skills but on their engagement: only when people are truly engaged and satisfied with their jobs can they do their very best work. Obviously, a competitive compensation package is a key motivator. But don’t neglect other factors, such as recognition for their accomplishments, opportunities for growth, and the ability to do work that they find meaningful in some way. When all of these criteria are met, you’re more likely to have great employees who stick around.
Finally, look for ways to support your dream team and augment their efforts. Make sure they get the training they need to be most effective at their jobs. For example, consider partnering with industry experts who can help improve your team and advise you on how to fill any skill or knowledge gaps it has.
Putting together a dream team isn’t easy — but, when leaders focus their efforts properly, it is very doable. Do your research to figure out what you need, find the people who best meet those needs, then do what you can to support those people and keep them around. That’s all there is to it!