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How to Manage Team Egos

Rand Blazer
President and CEO
KPMG Consulting LLC
McLean, Virginia

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Most consultants are willing to work as part of a team. But more than likely, they also have an entrepreneurial streak. They want to create something. To steer. To lead.

When you’re building a team, you have to start with that understanding and work with it. You can’t ignore it or try to get around it.

Don’t ask people to set their egos aside for the good of the team. Feed their egos. Make one person the team’s leader of communications. Make another the team’s leader of technology. Make a third the client-services leader. Give each person an area in which to excel, and you’ll find that you have a team that really pulls together.

The key? Have an ultimate team leader who can hold all of those reins and keep everyone moving in the same direction, at a companionable pace. That leader can’t be the one to grab the flag and charge up the hill. A good leader is one who can ensure that others will take the flag and charge.

Do these team leaders also have egos that need feeding? Of course. How should a higher-up handle that? Give those people enough room to roam, to set the agenda for their team’s goals, and to maintain their own identity elsewhere in the job. These people are probably senior members of your organization. Make sure you treat them that way.

Hey, no one said this team stuff was easy.

Rand Blazer is president and CEO of KPMG Consulting LLC, (http://www.kpmgconsulting.com), a global Internet-integration solutions provider, headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

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