Ron Wallace first joined UPS International as a driver nearly 40 years ago. Today, he is the company’s President, responsible for more than 60,000 employees operating in over 200 countries. As Kevin Kruse expressed it in a recent article for Forbes, “Wallace knows a thing or two about leadership and team building”.
That knowledge forms the basis of the book that Wallace has recently published – Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me. And he includes a very important point about how to build high performing teams – ‘play your best five, not your five best’.
It is an easy assumption to make that if you combine all your best talent in one team, you will have created the best team possible. But as Wallace makes clear that is very far from certain. Teams need a certain synergy if they are going to deliver real results. And simply putting together a group of high performing individuals won’t necessarily result in that synergy if they don’t work well together.
On the other hand, if you play your ‘best five’ then you will see that synergy because, by definition, you know they will work well together. After all, that’s precisely why you selected them.