Final episode of this season’s “Mad Men”.  They create a new advertising agency and pull together, in order, the visionary leader, creative head and accounts head.  They’re reluctantly considering the addition of an operating head when one of them says, “I can’t do what he does.  Can you?”  With that, they decide to bring onboard a partner with complementary strengths.

It seems that additions to the team are either complementary, supplementary or redundant.


People with complementary strengths fill a void.  If the void is critical to creating value, making the value you create known to the world around you, or making things work, these people are the most important people to add to your team.  If you can’t do what they do, and you need what they do, you need them.


People with supplementary strengths make others better.  They’re not quite as important as people that fill voids.  Often, others can do what they do.  But, they’ll do it better together.  Sometimes Richard Rogers wrote the music and the lyrics.  He was more successful as part of Rogers and Hammerstein though.


People with redundant strengths come into their own when you’re trying to scale your operation.  They provide leverage.

Get the right people in the right roles

This starts with defining the right roles, clarifying whether you need people with complementary, supplementary, or redundant strengths in them.  Doing this helps you bring the right people onboard.

George Bradt – PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding and Transition Acceleration