Summary of There Is an I in Team

What Elite Athletes and Coaches Really Know About High Performance

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

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There Is an I in Team book summary
Get the best from your high-level performers – and your team.


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Team success – for a professional sports squad or for your sales force – ultimately hinges on the performance of high-level players. In winning six National Basketball Association championships, the Chicago Bulls relied on Michael Jordan to make most of the decisive shots. The corporate world also expects star performers to carry the load, with help from their supporting cast. While superstars are gifted, magnetic and fiercely competitive, they can also be egotistical, obnoxious and polarizing; it comes with the territory. But as Mark de Rond, an associate professor of strategy and organization, explains, stars are the difference between winning and losing in both athletics and business. He uses numerous illustrations from sports to demonstrate the indispensability of superstars – despite the negativity their personalities can often generate. The trick, de Rond emphasizes, is figuring out how to let them impose their wills without destroying the team dynamic in the process. Any group has to undertake this admittedly delicate balancing act to succeed. De Rond’s assertion that everyone is not created equal may bother conventional thinkers, but managers will understand it right away. Once you weigh all the evidence, getAbstract believes that you’ll truly understand this definition of star power and how to use it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to manage high-level performers,
  • What traits and characteristics distinguish star performers, and
  • How to create an environment that allows high-level performers and supporting players to excel as a team.


Follow the Leader
Championship sports teams follow the lead of their star performers – that’s only natural, even though it might contradict traditional thinking that suggests that team equality and the absence of egotism determine success. Winning teams in sports and business actually ...
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About the Author

Mark de Rond is an associate professor of strategy and organization at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

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