When Building Your Team, Don't Focus on Superstars

team work and team building and building a great team are all keys to success

Who is your Superstar?

Understanding the principles of building a great team is the first step you should always take before putting a team together. In this article, we show you why only focusing on superstars can have a detrimental impact on your business, and explain how you can shift your focus on to the entire team, while still getting maximum value from your superstars. (Will be using Paul Pogba for an example).

team building ebook guide

A superstar can only be great with the help of his team

Your superstar team player may be the best of the best for a whole range of reasons. They may have lots of valuable industry experience, or they may be one of the most charming and persuasive salespeople you've ever met. Perhaps they're a good leader and you think they'll help to guide your team towards bigger and bigger successes, or maybe they're simply highly motivated and always go above and beyond to become genuinely brilliant at their job. Whatever it is, when a superstar team member is identified, it can be easy to pile all our attentions on to them, and let the rest of the team fall by the wayside.

The problem is that by focusing solely on your superstars, you won't be able to nurture the rest of your team which has a crucial supporting role. Let's look at it from the point of view of a soccer team. Paul Pogba cost Manchester United €105 million when he was transferred in August 2016. He's the most expensive footballer in history, but is he really worth that enormous investment? The answer is yes, but only if he is playing in a team good enough to back his style of play.

Successful team dynamics

To assess if Pogba is the right investment, it's important to consider how he fits into the whole squad in terms of his skill, performance, style and team work.

  • Will the existing team be able to work well with him, and complement his technique to allow him to really be his best?
  • Will other players be able to learn from him and improve their skills in order to make the investment truly worthwhile, or will his worth be based solely on his ability to score goals?
  • Will he bring genuine benefit to the whole club, or will his influence only be temporary until he's transferred elsewhere?

Businesses should ask themselves the very same questions when considering their teams and the superstar employees. Top team members can only offer the most value when they're complemented by a supportive and talented team.

Here at Shore, we can help you to successfully manage your team, but it's up to you to build it! With that in mind, we've compiled some top tips to help make the team building process a complete success, without focusing solely on your superstars.

Let's get down to it:

#1. Figure out how every member of the team works together

When it comes to football, your superstar may be the lead striker and the one scoring all those winning goals. However:

  • Would they be able to do that without excellent defenders and a top notch goal keeper warding off shots from the competition?
  • Would they have the opportunity to strike without midfielders consistently passing the ball forwards to make scoring possible?

Every member of every team tends to have a crucial role to play, even if their actual job roles are very similar. Some will be practical, getting important tasks done that the superstar has no time for. Others may be creative and able to come up with new tactics to make the superstar more effective.

Some will be problem solvers and always ready to get the team out of trouble when things don't go to plan. Others still may be the emotional support, lifting the team up when spirits are down or being the keeper of the peace when things get stressful. These team members may not be the ones closing deals, heading projects or making new breakthroughs - that's the goal-scoring superstar's role - but they each bring something to the table which is essential for the team to function successfully.

#2. Don't glorify your superstars

That's right. Share the love.

If your team sees you spending all your time with your top player and hears you constantly singing their praises, they could easily become disenfranchised with their role and feel as if there's no point in them working hard or going above and beyond.

Look at it this way; if Manchester United manager José Mourinho only ever celebrated the feats of Pogba without acknowledging good play from the rest of the team, he would inadvertently be suggesting that other players are simply not important to the success of the team. If they begin playing poorly as a result, Pogba won't have the support he needs to play at his best.

To win, Pogba needs his team to give everything they've got, and Mourinho's role is to focus just as much attention on every player to build their skill and their confidence to encourage them to be their best.

The same goes for a business environment. Teamwork is the focus, so be sure to spend plenty of time nurturing each member of the team to help them perform at their very best. Give constructive feedback, acknowledge their achievements, discuss areas in which they can develop their skills, and take time to figure out exactly how their position in the team impacts overall team success.

#3. Make sure superstars bring true value to your team

When hiring superstars, you need to be sure that they will be able to complement your existing team. As we mentioned previously, Pogba is only worth the investment if his team can back up his playing style. The same goes for your business - there's no use having an incredibly talented employee if the rest of the team can't successfully work with them or don't benefit from their talent.

To ensure your superstar is worth it, make sure that they will have a positive influence on their colleagues. Perhaps they'll be able to share valuable expertise or industry knowledge, or they could be highly motivational and help your team become more productive.

Above all else, make sure they understand the importance of teamwork, and how they fit into the dynamics of your team. They may know they're a star employee, but they must also appreciate the importance of their teammates and the way in which each team member brings value to the business.

Key takeaway: focus on team building, not superstars

No matter how brilliant your superstar players are, they wouldn't bring anywhere near as much value to your business without their supportive team. Teamwork is crucial to business success, and you can read more about successful team building in our eBook, '7 Secrets to Building a Great Team'.

team building ebook guide

About me

Andy Penfold
Andy Penfold

Content Marketing Manager US&UK for Shore.com. Blogging for Topics related to CRM and Digital Marketing Read more