Know Your Team & Look Out for Them
In 1942, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance assumed command of Task Force 16 prior to the World War II Battle of Midway. Spruance’s assignment resulted from Vice Admiral William F. Halsey’s admittance to the hospital for a skin condition.
“One great advantage in making Spruance the stand-in commander, was that he was already familiar with the personnel in Task Force 16.”1
Do You Know Your Team?
You’ve probably heard the phrase, familiarity breeds contempt. Although that may occasionally be the case, it certainly is a pessimistic perspective.
I prefer to view familiarity from the standpoint that it breeds knowledge.
- Knowledge of the skills, talents, and gifts of your team
- Knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your team
- Knowledge of what your team can and cannot accomplish
The Great Advantage
The leader who takes the time to learn the bulleted points above has a great advantage over the person who chooses to remain in their little world, isolated from the people who work on their team. The advantages include:
- Increased unity and team cohesion
- Increased trust
- Increased efficiency, effectiveness, proficiency, and professionalism
Which One Do You Prefer?
Which option do you prefer, familiarity breeding contempt for your team or familiarity breeding knowledge of your team?
1Craig L. Symons, The Battle of Midway, (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011), 190