Da Vinci on building a team with strengths and weaknesses

“An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength.”

Leonardo da Vinci

The ideal team recognizes that each person has peaks and valleys, highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses. 

Taken individually, a person might try to fix those weaknesses, obsess over them, or hide them. Our brains are wired to look for flaws. It’s old survival behavior.

The new way individually is to stop obsessing over weaknesses and focus on strengths more. 

And the best way to build a team is to look at that team as three-dimensional. There are peaks and valleys based on individual strengths. And interestingly, those peaks and valleys overlap and cancel each other out. One person might be horrible at follow-up, another one is brilliant at it. One person might excel at winning suspicious people over, another person might consider that a worst nightmare scenario. 

The ideal team forms a series of Da Vinci’s arches. People with a weakness in an area lean on other people on the team that have that strength – whether to shift work responsibility, energy support or tactical suggestions. These pairings take away the weakness from the team. The vulnerability shown and interdependence explored with those mini-collaborations is what the team trust is built on – arches.

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