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'Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock? Why You Need Both on Your Team' from Your Talent@Work with Shawn Kent Hayashi

Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock? Why You Need Both on Your Team

Posted: May 29, 2014

You don't have to be a Star Trek fan to understand how these pop culture icons show up in the work place.

Captain Kirk is the risk taker, the rule breaker, the impulsive person of action who thrills at the idea of going "where no man has gone before."  Without him, the Enterprise might never accomplish so many interesting, pioneering missions.

Mr. Spock is the risk evaluator, the rule follower, the analytical person of caution who avoids emotion in favor of data, facts, and logic. Without him, the Enterprise might never return from its many pioneering missions.

If they appreciate their differences, these two types make an ideal team because they cover each other's blind spots.

When you're putting together a team, it's often wise to consider which type you need for which roles and to make sure there are no collective blind spots. Barbara Corcoran, the business shark who appears on ABC's Shark Tank, agrees. In a recent speech, Corcoran said:

"For every single position I ever hired for, I learned to ignore the résumé when they were sitting at my desk and to focus on whether they were a container or an expander...Esther [my partner] was an extreme container. I was an extreme expander. I always coupled [those types] together. I wouldn't hire one without the other. They take care of each other."

Like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Barbara Corcoran's instincts are totally spot on if you also train team members to appreciate each other. But how do you develop their emotional intelligence so they value working together? How do you hire to create balance on your team?

Rely on assessments, job benchmarks, and team play books discussed in a high performing team meeting. Assessments identify strengths and blind spots; job benchmarks help you put the right person in the right role; team play books show you how to work better together. A high performing team meeting brings it all together so individuals can grow together as a team.

Why are these tools worth the investment? Because if you hire Kirk without Spock, your Enterprise may disappear into deep space. If you hire Spock without Kirk, it may take too long to leave the loading dock. Either way, you'll cost your business time and money. 

Need more tips and tools for building better teams? Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter. Have a question you want answered? Submit it on my blog.

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