March 25, 2011

I’m seeing a lot more of this lately. Companies looking for a “Rockstar” user experience designer. The thought that keeps crossing my mind is, “Who wants to work with a Rockstar?”

When I’m looking to build a team that aspires to achieve at a high level my thoughts are far from seeking out a Rockstar. The term Rockstar insinuates someone who works more for themselves than for the team. How does someone who fits this description improve your team or benefit your organization? I’ve worked in several industries in my career and I’ve spent my share of time working with Rockstars. Regardless of the industry, my experience has been that Rockstars tend to be more of a distraction than effective contributors.

Instead of Rockstars, I prefer to seek out and work with Collaborators. Collaborators have the ability to work with a team, not against it. Collaborators create harmony and unity not division and separatism. When you work with a Collaborator you get someone who can work towards excellence by challenging ideas while maintaining civility and team cohesiveness. Collaborators help facilitate growth and going beyond what any one person can do alone.

Effective collaborative teams are good at creating and keeping deadlines. They’re great at holding each other accountable for decision making and know that successful collaboration thrives under strong leadership.

When your company suggests you need to hire a Rockstar – ask them to be specific about what they mean. What do they want to gain? Most importantly, what do they expect this person to contribute to the team and to the organization?

Posted In Organizational Culture, User Experience.