Bad teams are the worst.

In some situations, some people take over and do the work and don't want your input.

In other instances, no one does anything.

Sometimes the people disappear or fail to contribute.

Few people get to choose their teams. Sometimes you are just "on" one. Sometimes your team rocks, sometimes your team stinks, and sometimes your team limps along. When bad teaming happens, you want nothing more than for that experience to be over.


But, here is the thing: You can change the dynamic of a bad team if you understand hardwiring.

A person’s hardwiring is the way they experience the work world. It is not their perspective based on their upbringing or what they were taught. It is not personality.

I’m referencing how an adult likes to “play” with others at work. How an adult enjoys contributing to a team in a way where they are having fun.

There are four unique hardwiring traits, with an emphasis on:

  • Those who value the big picture

  • Those who value the knowledge

  • Those who value execution and completion

  • Those who value team building and inclusion

These four hardwiring advance business ideas from concept to completion.

There is no such thing as a bad hardwiring. But there are bad job fits because of hardwiring. People are happier in jobs that showcase their natural talents.  Why? Because people “do” when they are good at something and they they “don’t do” (avoid) what they aren’t good at all.

For instance, if you have a highly detailed and tactical person installed as the CEO, they will naturally gravitate toward doing work that is perceived to be micromanagement. The CEO role calls for a long term visionary, but hardwiring doesn’t always jibe with the job itself.

Let’s take a closer look.



If you happen to be in a meeting and with someone that you don’t know, the questions that Visionaries ask sound like:

  • What if we could…?

  • What is the impact long term?

  • What are the global implications of…?Visionaries dream about the future and new ways to change the world. They are big-picture story sellers who attract others to their vision.

These people feel respected and appreciated when others want to talk about the big picture and speak in future terms.

Are you a Visionary?

  • Do you obsess about a particular business opportunity or industry and enjoy talking to others about it’s potential?

  • Do you think about who you need to network with and get on board to bring your vision to life? Not just now but in the future?

  • Do you find people that are not involved in your business or industry less interesting unless they bring value to your vision?

When you are moving an idea, you must speak in the Visionary's language.

You don't talk about today's task list. That is tactical lingo. You want to speak in strategic language—how your project will benefit the person and their vision of the future.

Talk about how the project will fit into the person’s vision. Allow that person to apply their mind to contribute to the idea. You can't have the entire solution worked out or they won't be able to add their "genius."


This type of person is knowledge-oriented. They know where to find the missing puzzle pieces, and how to connect the dots that no one else has considered.

Knowers are aware of efforts that have worked or not worked in the past as well as from other industries.

Because they have "connection minds," they can make the most of the resources at hand and figure out ways to apply them.

Knowers make statements like:

  • I know someone who…

  • It could work if…

  • We tried this about ten years ago...

Knowers are explorers and love to learn the "new". These people have seen a lot more than the average person, making them your go-to for information.

Are you a Knower?

  • Are you more curious than the average person?

  •  Do people come to you when they don't know where to find information? Is it fun for you to find it?

  •  Do you have a knack for knowing how to connect the dots and how to make things work?

You want to engage a Knower with your need for information and resources to make the project successful.

Traditional project deliverables or timelines aren't what a Knower wants.

Another tactic is to tell a story, where you know more and reveal elements that the Knower doesn’t know. They will dive into the elements of your story, engaging themselves in your work, without nagging from you.

Their curiosity drives them.

What will be of interest to this person is how they can contribute to his catalog of helpful tips. Tell that person what you think you want, and they will bring you back what you need.


Doers are just phenomenal at tactics and execution. Not only do they formulate action plans and to-do lists, but they get it done. They are fantastic at delegating and follow-up and snapping the whip to make sure the project is all done on time. They are well organized and fix things down to the last detail.

Doers make statements like:

I'll make a list

I'll have that done by tomorrow

I can fix this

Doers get ‘er done.Just give them the task and get out of their way. They do not need micromanagement. They have more ideas on how to tend to every detail than the three other hardwirings. Let ‘em run with the ball!

Are you a Doer?

  • Do you make lists of things that need to get done with precision and dates of completion?

  • Are you most satisfied when something is completed?

  • Can you handle multiple tasks in succession?

Doers will want to talk through all the details.

Have you thought about the dates, the times, the agendas for the day of something that might not roll out for six months out?

He does, and will expect you to think that way too.

When working with a Doer, use crystal clear and efficient language. Use words involving action and times. The words start, stop, go/no go.

Stage gates are very helpful for Doer when tasks are assigned in each stage. This way the Doer can check off the tasks and can precisely record all that has been achieved.


Teamers get people "on the bus." They create an emotional connection in the workplace and makes people feel a sense of personal buy-in on their contribution to the work.

These are the people who listen intently to understand concerns and passions about the project.

They share all the stories of successes as things progress with the vision.

They happily bring people back to the center of why the initiative is essential and bind people together with shared connections. Teamers remembers everyone's names and personal details of those on the team that the rest of us forget. They makes us love working with the team and make work a fun place to be.Teamers make statements like:

  • We should make sure everyone is on board.

  • We could make this fun.

  • I feel like this could be really good for everyone

Teamers are very uncomfortable with disharmony between people. A Teamer brings people closer and into alignment with the mission or vision.

Are you a Teamer?

  • Do you talk to different types of people around the office? Not just about work but about their personal lives?

  • Are you happy and smiling even when things are challenging? Are you the person everyone likes?

  • Are you the person that people go to when they want to know what the heck is really going on? 

Teamers want to know who needs to be in the loop to building trust and camaraderie with everyone they meet. 

Be careful with word choice involving feelings when working with Teamers. Everyone needs to be happy and onboard, and if they are not, the project will stall.

Few people get to choose their teams. But when you know the hardwiring of your team members, it is easier to get them to willingly participate by allowing them to do what they do best.

When great teaming happens, and everyone contributes the way they like, you move toward a functional team that gets results.