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7 do’s to build a team

The movie Moneyball suggests that you can create a very effective team, relying heavily on what the numbers tell you. In this true story, the producers show us a struggling American Baseball team. Brad Pitt is the new Head Coach. He contracts a number of players for the club with a very limited budget. He selects new players by adopting a very scientific approach. The data sets you free. Right?

The next season, the team achieves an extremely good result. If only it was so easy.


Based on my personal experience, here are seven of my crucial do's when building a team.

  1. This is the most important one. Put the team together based on the agenda. What should we achieve in the coming years? Only then follows the next question: who do we need for this? Structure and people follow strategy. And not the other way
  2. Search for people in your team with the same values. This gives a firm basis. It allows you to strongly disagree with each other. While keeping the relationships healthy.
  3. Try to get a balance between a people oriented and results oriented approach in your daily leadership.
  4. Select people who are complementary to each other. Don’t be tempted to choose people who you intuitively think you understand. Choose people with different backgrounds: age, gender, experience, culture, character. The bigger the differences, the more opportunities present themselves.
  5. Don’t keep people in their positions for too long. If it’s clear that someone is no longer in the right place, give them back their freedom. Don’t wait and start the difficult conversation. We often leave someone in a position for too long. Better then to act too soon. I’ve seen it happen, and I have also been trapped in this pitfall myself.
  6. Vary your leadership behavior. Sometimes you have to be a father figure, a strict master, sometimes giving a compliment. Sometimes ...... .. you shouldn’t do anything! You are both a psychologist, an orchestrator and sometimes the specialist.
  7. Invest in the team. Only managing your team on the tasks is a huge mistake. You accelerate when the team knows: where are we going? Is there a clear plan with a clear set of tasks for everyone? And are the team members getting the chance to develop themselves? This does not happen automatically and must be orchestrated by the leadership team.


I think that you can really get a long way when you base your decisions on science. Like we saw in the Moneyball movie. And I too advocate a rational approach when it comes to building a team. But part of the magic of a good team remains elusive. The invisible hand of the business leader.

Hopefully this inspires

Paul Donkers


Paul is a sought after consultant to assist companies in building and improving their leadership teams. From the food sector, the manufacturing industry to healthcare and global NGO organizations. Do you want to know more? Please click here. Or talk to us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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