There are some special circumstances that may prove fatal to your team:
- 11th hour stress – The team may be great but unnecessarily taxing them will only frustrate the members. If the project has some unrealistic expectations, such as impossible requirements or too short datelines, the stress may get to the team. While some stress is unavoidable, try to set reasonable deadlines, or move the emergency period up front so as to flatten the final spike as much as possible. If the project becomes a death march, the first casualty may be your dream team. Think about project management and executive expectation management.
- Company instability, like reorganizations – Even when the reorganization (use appropriate euphemism here) will not affect the team directly, it is sure to distract them. Try to contain office gossip as much as you can, and keep reaffirming them that their positions are safe (as much as it is true). If their positions are not safe, then give them as much information as possible and help them prepare. They will remember if you work them to the bone before firing them.
- Uneven recognition or compensation – If you are giving out bonuses or awards, make sure the whole team is included – not just the leader or your protégé. Identify their individual contributions to let them know that you were watching. If resentment builds in your dream team, their days are numbered.