A great team is a force multiplier, capable of accomplishing more together than as individuals. As no less an authority than Steve Jobs once said:

My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.

That's how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people. 

Problem is, joining a team -- especially an established team -- isn't always easy. A 2020 study published in Group and Organization Management found that new members typically disrupt the performance of a team for a considerable period of time. So do frequent changes to a team, or "high membership fluidity."

And then there's this: Research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society found that "individuals express diminished cognitive capacity in small groups, an effect that is exacerbated by perceived lower status within the group and correlated with specific neurobehavioral responses." 

Or in non researcher-speak, when people get placed in small groups, their IQ drops by double-digit percentages, especially if they feel like a junior member of an established team. 

That's especially true for successful teams, where the welcome mat often reads "Sink or Swim." The burden of gelling with an established team -- and contributing to the best extent possible to that team -- is usually carried by the individual who joins that team.

Unless that team is made up of FOX Nascar lead announcer Mike Joy and analyst Clint Bowyer. Each week the pair has been joined by a rotating cast of guest analysts: Highly accomplished drivers and crew chiefs, but with diverse styles, personalities, and television experience.

The nature of the business doesn't allow time build chemistry and gel; when the red light switches on, it's go-time in front of an audience of millions. Joy and Bowyer saw it as their responsibility to not only make every guest analyst feel welcome, but also help them succeed.

That process started with a simple decision. The easiest way for a play-by-play announcer to incorporate a guest analyst is to ask that person questions, an approach that often works, but also often feels more like an interview than a conversation. 

"Most of the guest analysts have done some TV," Joy says, "so it's not a brand new thing. Brand new is the FOX way of doing things, and working with us. So instead of creating some sort of structure, Clint and I decided our primary goal was to make each person feel as welcome as possible, and to feel comfortable jumping in whenever they felt they had something to add."

According to Joy, that approach quickly led to a more natural flow of conversation, commentary, and input. 

"With most of the analysts, I didn't have to ask questions," Joy says, "although I might ask them to elaborate. I think if you listen back, some of the best moments occurred when weren't asking the guests questions."

Take Bill Elliott, 16-time winner of Nascar's Most Popular Driver award. During his career Elliott was considered a difficult interview. He drove the car, he worked on the car--he had things to do, and doing interviews wasn't one of them. Yet Elliott's stint in the booth stands out for its level of detail, analysis, and insight. 

"FOX brought them to the booth because they had the interest, and ability, to break things down for the fans," Joy says. "It was up to Clint and I to adapt to each person so the telecast stayed balanced."

Which created its own challenges. Take Bowyer; through experience, he can predict when Joy will speak for 10 or 20 seconds. That gives him time to talk off-air to a producer. To analyze lap times. To foreshadow, and then develop story lines. Adding a new voice to the booth made his workflow much less predictable.

"I took that for granted," Bowyer says. "I really had to pay attention and take the time to really listen. To be honest, at first I wasn't good at it. It's all about strengths and weaknesses, and I really needed to work on that. Bringing new people in not only added something to the broadcasts, it also helped me improve my own skills." 

Bowyer's primary "skill" is his love for and talking about racing, which led to a certain level of natural chemistry with guest analysts. "I want people to think I'm sitting on the couch in their living room, watching the race with them," Bowyer says. "It made sense to use the same approach with our guest analysts. In the end, we're just talking racing." 

Of course there's more to it than that. On a broad level, a "successful" broadcast delivers information, education, and entertainment for fans. 

Where a guest analyst is concerned, "success" means helping that person succeed, since the one decision every great leader makes -- and every great teammate makes -- is that their happiness can come from seeing other people succeed. 

The next time you add a member to your team, whether permanently or temporarily, take responsibility for making them feel welcome. For making them feel comfortable. For making them feel valued.

Not just because that will make them "smarter," or make your team more productive and successful.

But also because it's the right thing to do.