Great Groups

"Life in Great Groups is different from much of real life. It's better."

--Stewart Brand

Greatness starts with superb people.... Recruiting the most talented people possible is the first task of anyone who hopes to create a Great Group. The people who can achieve something truly unprecedented have more than enormous talent and intelligence. They have original minds. They see things differently. They can spot the gaps in what we know. They have a knack for discovering interesting, important problems as well as skill in solving them. They want to do the next thing, not the last one. They see connections. Often they have specialized skills, combined with broad interests and multiple frames of reference. They tend to be deep generalists, not narrow specialists.

Read the book Organizing Genius about Great Groups and how they work. Here are some rules of thumb on how to recognize a Great Group.

1.Great Groups and great leaders create each other.

2.Every Great Group has a strong leader.

3.The leaders of Great Groups love talent and know where to find it.

4.Great Groups are full of talented people who can work together.

5.Great Groups think they are on a mission from God.

6.Every Great Group is an island--but an island with a bridge to the mainland.

7.Great Groups see themselves as winning underdogs.

8.Great Groups always have an enemy.

9.People in Great Groups have blinders on.

10.Great Groups are optimistic, not realistic.

11.In Great Groups the right person has the right job.

12.The leaders of Great Groups give them what they need and free them from the rest. Successful groups reflect the leader's profound, not necessarily conscious, understanding of what brilliant people want. Most of all, they want a worthy challenge, a task that allows them to explore the whole continent of their talent. They want colleagues who stimulate and challenge them and whom they can admire. What they don't want are trivial duties and obligations. Successful leaders strip the workplace of nonessentials.

13.Great Groups ship.

14.Great work is its own reward.

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