The longer I’m in leadership, the more I’m convinced that one of the most important decisions you can make is who you invite to be on your team. Put another way,asking some people to leave the team is critical to the team’s success and fruitfulness. Dan Rockwell shares three types of people who need to be asked to leave the team.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


Teams have more potential than individuals, only if individual members make them function effectively.


Poorly functioning teams:

Waste time.

Squander resources.

Discourage talent.

Drain organizational energy.


One distracting team member – bad apple – has more power to distract and plunder than many who embrace the power of teams.

Lubricate team effectiveness by reforming or removing bad apples.


#1. Throw off those who give up quickly.

Great solutions come from hot debate. Pulling together is most meaningful when fiery collision precedes it.

Develop structures that make constructive dissent expected. Ask your entire team to argue for or against a suggested plan of action.

Honor people who offer alternatives.

Thank people who engage in constructive dissent.

Ask, “What are you trying to achieve?” when alternatives are offered.

Those who give-in quickly end up with mediocrity.

#2. Throw off those who can’t let it go when they don’t get their way.

Team success is more important than individual wins. Successful teams pull together after vigorous debate.

Expect team members to pull with gusto when an imperfect solution is chosen. Anything less degrades the team.  Confront Self-serving team members who take their toys home when they don’t get their way.

Standing aloof points to arrogant immaturity.

#3. Throw off smug know-it-alls who are content with their own growth and discontent with others.

Learning-teams have individual members who are dedicated to personal growth.

Leaders who lead the way always lead themselves first. 

Reject people who talk before listening.

Include readers. Ask teammates to share ideas from books they’re reading.

Honor team members who say things like, “I used to think, but I’ve learned.”

Eject individuals who always need to look smarter than others.

How have you seen bad apples disrupt teams?

What types of people should be reformed or removed from teams?