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March Madness: Evaluating the talent on your team

I thought I'd wait until March Madness started to write a March Madness post, so I didn't have to provide any advice on bracket picks. I have my picks in, but I'm not telling who I picked. It wouldn't matter anyway--your guess is as good as mine.

That's the great thing about March Madness; the unpredictable nature of the tournament. Many bracketologists are predicting this year to be a year of early upsets, but really, most believe the one or two seeds will make it to the Final Four, and probably win the whole thing.

So why is it so unpredictable? Because you never know how a team will perform until they are on the court, under the lights, up against another team. As the old saying goes: "That's why they play the game."

It's much the same with your team. When it comes to evaluating the talent on your team, most of the time, you won't know how they will perform until that big project or that critical meeting. But you should always be evaluating your team and looking for ways to develop the talent you have, or scout new talent to bring in.

So while you are watching your favorite NCAA team over the next few weeks, think about your work team and see if any of these scenarios remind you of what could happen during your next big project. If so, maybe it's time to refresh, re-engage or rebuild your team.

Superstar with minor (or no) supporting cast. One person can't do it all. Evaluate the skills you need, and then measure your players up against those skills. If you have a superstar in one area, but you're lacking in many others, you may find those weak links are weighing you down. Or worse, your superstar could be getting ready to leave because of lack of support from the rest of the team.

Teams that come together or fall apart when tested. Does your team have chemistry? When the pressure is on, many teams rise to the occasion and become more of a unit. Other times, when tested, the team quickly falls into disarray. This is usually due to lack of leadership on the team. Make sure you have people on your team who can pick others up and make them believe they can do more than they thought they could. The best kind of coach is a coach who is on the court with their players.

The total is more than the sum of the parts. Do you really have a team? The concept of a team is that they will be a cohesive group that works toward a common goal. A truly effective team builds on the strengths of one another to allow the team to create much more than they could on their own. Doing a skills inventory might shed some light on areas where you are heavy or light on talent. Too much either way means the rest of the team has to compensate, and therefore, probably not reaching their full potential.

Okay, so I picked Ohio State to win. I know--that doesn't really help you now. By the way, my son also makes picks, and, as of today, he's already beating me. It truly is madness, in more ways than one.

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