How to Find Your Ideal Team Member

A team is only as strong as its weakest link. If you have the luxury of selecting the members of your team, make sure you bring the right people “on the bus”. If you enlist the wrong team members, they’ll be cannon balls in the team’s ankles. And, sooner or later, you’ll have to cut them loose.

As the leader, you must have a sharp eye to recognize gold when you see it. By selecting the right team member on the onset, you save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy—not to mention that you preserve your peace of mind.

Who is the ideal team member? There are many things you can look for in an ideal team member. I boil them down to three things.

1. Skill Set

Ideal team members must have the skill set required to do the job. If they have a nice personality but can’t do the job, they won’t carry the weight you need them to.

Bringing “Mr. Incompetent” on your team benefits no one. Your team doesn’t benefit because the team will need to do or redo the work of Mr. Incompetent. Your organization doesn’t benefit because it’s not getting the work it’s paying for. Mr. Incompetent doesn’t benefit because his work reflects badly on him.

Candidates who don’t have the skills you need (and who can’t learn them in short order) aren’t your ideal team member.

Do yourself a favor, choose team members who have the right skill set to perform the work well.

2. Mindset

The second characteristic you should look for in your ideal team members is their mindset. Do they have the right mindset to work in your team?

Some candidates may be very skilled but have a stinking attitude, blame others when things go wrong, spew negativity in the team, etc. Enlisting them in your team is like asking the rest of your team to gulp poison.

People with the wrong mindset can really destroy your team spirit and dissolve your team’s cohesion. Your team is a unit where each part enhances the whole. By introducing bad apples in your team, you contaminate the other team members and the whole suffers.

The right skill set with the wrong mindset won’t cut it. Make sure your team members have a mindset that supports your team dynamic.

3. Interest

Your ideal team member must be prepared to put their whole heart in their work. You can only go so far with team members who do work halfheartedly.

Some candidates simply don’t have the heart for the work. They aren’t really interested in the work.

They can be interested in the paycheck. They can be interested in being part of a prestigious organization. They can be interested in you (as the leader). They can be interested in being part of your team. These are good. But these aren’t sufficient. They must also be interested in the activities associated with the work.

If the work doesn’t light them up, they are not the ideal team member.

Your ideal team member is the person who has the skill set needed to do the work, the right mindset to collaborate effectively with the members of your team and you, and the interest to perform the activities of the work day in and day out. If you find someone who has all three characteristics, you’ve hit the jackpot. Enlist them in your team.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.