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21st August, 2018

Strong Link Vs. Weak Link: What is the best method for success?

Think of a successful team. What is the key to that team’s success? Not that easy a question to answer, as there are many factors to success, regardless of the arena. However, a recent podcast discovery got me thinking about one very specific idea – that the strength of a team (and therefore the success) can be determined by either the weakest link or the strongest. What does this mean and how can it be applied to a workplace environment, I hear you gasp…!

image of tiny characters playing footbal
Football: better than basketball?

Football vs Basketball

We can all name superstars in football these days – Ronaldo, Salah, Messi. But do these players with outstanding talent automatically mean the success of the teams they play in? You only have to look at this year’s World Cup to realise that is definitely not the case! Accordingly to Anderson & Sally, authors of the awesome “The Numbers Game”, that is because football is a “Weak Link” sport.

Essentially, the suggestion is that a football team is only as strong as its weakest member. A successful team will spend money on improving the weaker positions, rather than the headline-grabbing big money striker. This is opposite to a sport like basketball, where it has been proven that buying one big star player will win you games, even if the rest of your team are distinctly below par.

You are the Weakest Link…..goodbye?

So how does this apply to the work of work outside huge sports arenas? Well, I think the same theory can be applied to any team and, in the majority of situations, I would say the Weak Link approach would be more effective.

Imagine a team of 6-7 people with one absolute superstar and the rest making up the numbers. The team would quickly fall apart, with frustration felt from all angles. Now imagine a team, the same size, but with each member carefully selected to perform specific tasks that they excel at – no weak links, but no superstars either. Which team do you think would have the most success? And, perhaps just as importantly, which team would YOU rather be a part of?

tiny man sat on big chain, with swimming pool in the background
Don’t be the weakest link in the chain…

Replace your weak links

One of the top requests from new candidates is to work in a ‘nice team’. They want to feel part of it, and rarely want to either hide in the corner or be the superstar at the front. And if a team is build up from the best links you can find, surely it’s going to be more driven, more engaged and more successful as a whole?

Think back to your team, whether you’re a team member or manager. Are there any weak links? Are YOU the weak link? How can you improve those weak links in order to improve the overall success of the team? It might be about offering more training and support to those weak links, but if you do think it might be time to upgrade, come and have a chat to us!

Find out more about the COS Recruitment team (no weak links here!) or contact us for help with your next hire

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