If you read the title in the voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it’s perfectly normal. We do need to know our roles on a team.

Each person on a team on has to play to their role or the team and it’s efforts could collapse. A team is only effective when they work to their strengths. In work, a successful and functional team is one that understands its leadership, has communication, and they’re competitive (friendly, of course) with one another to be better. So what does your role have to with anything?

You might remember experiences on team projects where you and others had undefined roles from the beginning. The team dynamic could wind up looking like this:


We’ve been to that place of wondering why a project, whether at school, community groups, or at work, is two steps from oblivion’s doorstep. It happens to us all because our roles aren’t defined according to what we do best.

So like in “The Hangover,” and really any movie or TV show with characters working in a team structure, there are defined roles within a trope (a plot device used for structuring) called the Five (Person) Band. Based on that structure, you can also think of a team as the starting lineup. They have roles that serve the team mission in perfect balance.

Check out the five roles of any team and see where you fit in best:

  1. The Leader. You are put in charge to lead your group to success. You’ll handle the communication to your superiors because you bring some sort of balance.
  2. The Lancer. This person is like the rebel character—usually the cool cat that goes outside the box to bring innovative solutions. You’re counted on to take a few more risks than others.
  3. The Smarty. You come up with the details of the Leader’s plans and bring the Lancer’s ideas and tactics down to earth. Without you, a project just exists in dreamland.
  4. The Big Guy. Usually associated with brute force and just getting things done. This team role isn’t always a guy either. In this spot, you’re a true soldier to the cause and you’re virtually unstoppable when you get momentum.
  5. The Heart. This role is the peacekeeper and can help keep the project on track to the goal in mind when everyone else’s agendas take them off course.

Which team role is yours? No role is greater than the other because they’re all needed for team success. When you know where you fit on the team, it maximizes your individual performance and benefits your organization as a whole.

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