According to some definitions, the youngest Millennial will turn 21 this year. The earliest born among them is fast-pushing 40 - not old, but getting on a bit. Old enough, certainly, to resent the label 'Millennial' and all the pejorative stereotypes that come with it. Millennials are variously described as entitled, self-interested, tough to manage, narcissistic, unfocused, lazy and 'precious snowflakes' who can't handle criticism and want everything handed to them on a silver platter.
The problem of scaling a team is tough to crack. How do you add more members without breaking the spirit of the existing members? At what point do the old ways of doing things stop working? How can you be sure that the team is scaling at the right rate and in the right way? Success can turn on a small detail, such as a personality clash or one outdated process. What should a team leader do to avoid messing up?
To improve future performance, teams must learn from their mistakes. Despite being an irrefutable truth, few teams do this well. This is not due to a lack of willingness on their part - most organizations devote countless hours to after-action reviews, project postmortems and similar analysis to help the team reflect on what it did wrong and avoid similar mistakes in the future. More often than not, these actions fail to drive any real change in future outcomes.
Let's be honest, I'm not a people pleaser. I don't try particularly hard to get people to like me, and I never take it personally when someone obviously doesn't. My tolerance for conflict is higher than most, and I'm not afraid to land a few home-truth punches when someone steps out of line. (No one is allowed to feed my insecurities but me). I want to be liked—who doesn't? But I won't kiss ass for a superficial seal of approval. So the phrase "people pleaser" never really entered my mind.
Understanding the various personalities on your team is important for getting people working together in the way you'd like. That is why so many organizations use the personality assessment created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers when putting together effective teams. Personality assessment tools can help select the right team members - people who are likely to bond, innovate, and follow through on the company's goals such that the output of the team is greater than that of its constituent members.
One of the most challenging work transitions comes when you face the prospect of leading a new team for the first time. Getting people to work together is not easy, and many team leaders rush over the basics in order to start achieving goals. But the first weeks and months are critical for starting a team off on the right foot. What actions should you take to set the team up for success? How will you get the team working well together, manage conflict, and create an environment where everyone feels safe, valued and motivated to contribute?
When putting together a team, conventional wisdom dictates that you strive for a mix of personalities and do whatever it takes to build equality within the group. Inequality of status - where it's pretty clear how everyone ranks compared to their peers - discourages people from sharing ideas and can lead to people feeling undervalued or disrespected. These hot human emotions distract teammates from their tasks and can disrupt even the most focused performers.
Or so the theory goes.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. No, not Dickens, but an apt summary of the radical opposites taking place between my INTJ psyche and the corporate world I found myself working in for almost 16 years. It's a story of contrasts and comparisons between the massive success I achieved and the desperate, inescapable desire to "get out while you can."
THE FINE PRINT:
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