Link back to part 8 here with links to parts 1 to 7 at the top.

9 – Train your soldiers as a team and employ them up to their capabilities.

 - Dilbert by Scott Adams

Any organization works better if they function as a team. Training as a team will lead to working as a team. Team work amplifies everything your organization can accomplish. If everyone is aligned in the direction you wish your organization to take, and working within their skill sets and roles to achieve a combined effort, the team will always accomplish more than a set of individuals going in different directions ever could.

The second part of this principle has to do with challenging people, but not pushing them beyond their competency. This is a two edged sword. Most people will be discontent if they get bored and life is too easy. Conversely pushing people to beyond their level of competency can lead to very negative outcomes. This is where it is important to apply the second principal to your team – you need to know their strengths and weaknesses as much as you need to know your own. Sometimes its a delicate dance of determining what one of your team can do, and making sure you assign tasks to them that they can accomplish. Assigning tasks to someone who doesn’t have the capacity to complete them will destroy their morale, the rest of the teams cohesion, and can lead to major mistakes, problems and unnecessary risk.

Andrew