Better RFP Responses & Management
How to Foster Teamwork: Rule #11

How to Foster Teamwork: Rule #11

No dickheads allowed.
Rhys Newman and Luke Johnson

Well, OK, that’s clear and to the point.

My slightly less vivid advice to proposal managers selecting team members has always been to choose team players above experts.  Of course, in an ideal world, those two would coincide – and it’s amazing how often they do.  It’s amazing how many people know what they’re doing and work well with others.

But those who don’t or won’t work nicely with others suck time and energy from an activity that has none to spare:

  • Stubbornly implementing their pet preferences in the solution, regardless of client priorities
  • Sticking their nose into areas that aren’t their concern
  • Violating rules for version control of documents.  Repeatedly.  Even after stern warnings.  Not that I’ve ever seen this . . .
  • Refusing to accept style standards that the rest of the team is using
  • Missing deadlines, missing deadlines, missing deadlines

So the final word of advice in this series?  Eliminate dickheads from your proposal team.  You’ll never be sorry you did.



 Proposals are schedule-driven projects that require a strict project management discipline. Right? Partly right. In proposal terminology, I’d call that answer incomplete.  Proposals are projects, for sure, but they’re also the output of teamwork. I’ve recently been learning how much the design business has in common with proposals.

This post is one of a series on proposal teamwork, inspired by a fabulous article on Medium on design teams:
“No Dickheads! A Guide to Building Happy, Healthy, and Creative Teams.”