When Super Smart People Can’t Get the Job Done

If you haven’t already had this experience, be prepared- you will.

A new project, program, initiative, etc. is proposed and a team is gathered to address.  The best and the brightest are put together to solve all the problems of the world!  Big brains and big degrees!  And then…

Nothing happens.  Progress is slow, momentum fizzles, enthusiasm wanes.

Why?  “Great things in business are never done by one person.  They’re done by a TEAM of people.” — Steve Jobs.  In the prior instance highly qualified people were secured, but steps were not taken to develop the team.

I recently participated in a training by Dr. Heather Williamson, founder of the Transformation Group in which she outlined a model for successful team development in terms of getting a team ready to move through change.  Highlights from her model include:


  •  Leader displays passion and leads by example
  • Clear expectations are set at the beginning
  • Everyone on the team is valued for their contribution


  •  Everyone is clear as to what they are to contribute to the team, why they are uniquely qualified to do so, and why it matters.
  • Team members know and USE each other’s strengths.


  •  Be honest with those not pulling their weight.  Find out WHY.
  • Allow and encourage alternative points of view.


  •  Expect, and reward, cooperation among team members.
  • Allow team members to assist in making decisions.

Conflict Management

  •  Mediate conflict quickly and efficiently.  Do not allow things to fester!
  • Seek consensus on major decisions which impact the entire team.

Change Management

  •  Communicate vision and what the change means to the organization.
  •  Sell the WHY behind the change.  How will it positively benefit the team.
  •  Share progress and discuss ideas and concerns moving forward.
  •  Measure progress!  How do you know when you are succeeding?


  •  Hold regular progress check-in meetings
  •  Encourage collaboration
  • Do something fun together! Celebrate one another!

Think about the teams you are on, and where they fit into this model.  Chances are you will  notice the ones that align with the fore-mentioned tend to be more successful than those that don’t.  Bottomline for the day:  Take time to think about your team development!  Whether it’s your 4-H Association, a District team, etc.  It will pay off in the end.

If you’d like to participate in this training, or similar ones, look up Dr. Heather Williamson on Eventbrite.com.  The training is virtual and accessed through YouTube.com.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s