It has long been known that high individual performance does not translate to a winning team. Traditionally, high performers in business have strong power and status drivers. These key values drive them to achieve high results, compete aggressively and not give up. I have personally had experience where a new high profile business was led by the global leaders in their areas, but the results were inhibited by infighting, politics and jockeying for position.
Research now shows that creativity, decision making and thought process is lower in a team of executive superstars.
Why did groups of leaders fail so consistently? Across studies, groups of leaders performed worse in part because their members fought over who should have higher status than others in the group — who should get to call the shots, who should have more influence over the group’s decisions, and who should command more respect than others. In essence, leaders fought over who should be “top dog” in the group, and this conflict over status harmed their ability to work together effectively. Videotapes also showed that groups of leaders were less focused on the task and shared information less effectively with each other than did members of other groups. Again, this pattern is particularly ironic because power tends to make people more task-focused and efficient when working on tasks alone.