too many cooks

Building a successful team is an art.

25 years ago I worked with the best coaches in the world to build a program that creates championship teams. What better place to savor success and learn bitter lessons than the kitchen?

6’x4’ oil painting on canvas, Too Many Cooks by Adam Stone, July 19, 2000.

Participants in Too Many Cooks learn the processes and practices of successful teams. Then they apply what they learn in the kitchen under the guidance of our executive chef. The immediate result is a gourmet meal. The lasting impact is a sustainable network of relationships that achieve increasingly high levels of performance.

Teams are appealing, but they’re not for everyone. Have a look at the lists below. There’s no shame in taking a different approach; just don’t call it a team if it’s not, because your people will know and they won’t like it.

If you think you’re ready to build a team, or if you want to take the team you already have to the next level, let’s talk.


  • Teams have clear goals and rules to play by.
  • You know where you stand on a team. Your job is important and suited to your abilities.
  • Everyone’s clear on whether the team succeeds.


  • Recruiting, building, and managing a team requires vision, skill, and patience.
  • Teams are harder to lead than working groups and direct reports.
  • Individual team members are valuable because they see things from different perspectives, so diversity, divergence, and even conflict are important features – if the team has a structure for communicating, mediating, and making decisions. If there is no “container” for these creative collaborations, the fire that illuminates may burn everything down.

Teams are strong. They get things done. And winning as a team is one of the great joys in life. But it’s not enough to want it. You have to do some very specific work to create and lead a team. Every successful team goes through phases of planning and growth. The good news is that we understand how to design for team success. If you’re ready, let’s get started.