Logan has two big suggestions. The first: observe companies that do teamwork really, really well.
“When people actually experience something, it’s very different from an abstract discussion,” Logan said.
The second: give students tasks that couldn’t possibly be completed by one person.
Logan gave the example of three Marshall MBA students who started a consulting company during school. They quickly realized that they could only pull it off by taking their individual strengths—in marketing, finance and IT—and using them to create a true team. The consulting company is still getting clients.
Nevertheless, there’s something very American about being a lone wolf. The late and celebrated Steve Jobs was a prime example of individualism. He listened to no one. But Logan notes that Jobs’ success was still rooted in teamwork. “Steve Jobs was a raging jerk, but he had the ability to make teams focus on a mission,” he said. “There are only a few people like that in the history of business.”
The takeaway? Unless you can pull off being a mercurial genius, it’s best to focus on the strength of your tribe.