‘Good people make great teams’ we are told but I suppose it depends on how you define the word ‘good’. Good at their tasks, good at getting things done, good with people or good, meaning ‘well behaved’. The first three should go without saying. Everyone in the right place doing what they’re best at. But the last definition, good as in well behaved, I am not so sure…
From the moment we learn to interact with others, we learn to push the boundaries. From throwing our Teddy bear out of the pram to trying to reach forbidden fruits, our lives are a balance between learning to be social and yet retaining some individuality. So it’s logical that at work and in our private lives, we spend a great deal of our informative years balancing between one person’s idea of right and wrong and another’s.
These day’s I don’t really think about it much but there are still times when a colleague will politely remind me of the boundaries. Entrepreneurs, and many leadership profiles do not see the boundaries quite so clearly as others it seems. Where followers see a wall, leaders see only an obstacle to climb over or tunnel under. For these determined people, rules are at best guidelines mostly applying to others, especially if they prevent them from achieving their goals.
So I wonder, in business and in projects is it that bad to have a few people on the team that are prepared to break or interpret the rules to the team’s advantage?
What I have noticed over the years is that most of us find our business boundaries by around the age twenty five to thirty. A blend of experience coupled with a new found sense of responsibility teaches us just enough for us to learn that that that threats our personal security is not worth going for. A concious equilibrium between behaviour and risk seems to settle in.
And yet there is no doubt in my mind, that there is a small minority that never seems to get it. These are the people that have their own alternative to the motto ‘The absolute secret to success is do it now’, this being: ‘The absolute secret to success is don’t get caught’. Match that with being good at their tasks and good with people and good at getting things done and you have all the ingredients for great achievement and success, even if there is a serious risk of massive personal failure.
So I will conclude with the words my mother always told me when I was a teenager “Be good and if you can’t be good be careful, and if you can’t be careful – remember the date!” Well it was a very long time ago…
Have a good week,