Last weekend I met with my fantastic Core Focus team, and I have an even deeper appreciation for the power of teamwork. We sequestered ourselves in a hotel room with a white board and went to work. The quality of work from four minds is so much better than anything I could come up with on my own. Also, I realize my ineptitude in the technological world we live in, and I need help.
Let me introduce you to the team. I am a TED talks fan, and these are my own TED helpers.
Joseph heads up all things Technological. He also has a gift for finding just the right word. Stephen is phenomenal when it comes to Education and Marketing. I love his ideas and ability to come up with possibilities. Olya is in charge of all things beautiful as my Design Director. She does such a wonderful job on my website. I am so grateful for her eye and aptitude for what looks good. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to work with this innovative and talented crew!
This has made me think about the blessings of working together. Here are a few:
- Clarification of Vision Where are we? Where do we want to go? What will it look like when we get there? What path do we take? Discussing questions like this with other people can really help produce the focus that is necessary to any project or venture.Together you can weed out distractions and unnecessary effort and expense. As the wise rabbit said, “If you don’t know where you are going, it really doesn’t matter what path you take.” A lot has been written about the importance of clarification of vision. This clarification is best accomplished as a team.
- Discussion of Possibilities When we only have our own thoughts and opinions to work with, we simply don’t see everything we can see with the help of others. This is the brainstorming fun. I found it incredibly helpful and interesting listening to everybody throwing out ideas and discuss possibilities—the good, bad, absurd and brilliant. The absurd mostly came from me. I am grateful for a brilliant group.
- Larger and More Diversified Knowledge Base Four heads really are better than one. Each person brings their own knowledge and experience to the white board.In particular, I know I am often clueless with technology, terrible at marketing, and bad with design. They know so much that I just don’t know and have experienced so many things that I have had no experience with. I always tell people you can’t fix what you don’t notice, making education key to our health and wellbeing. Knowledge does give us power, and we do not know what we don’t know. Find people who know what you don’t know and learn from them and work with them.
- Expanded Capabilities I raised seven children. I know what it is like to try to do it all yourself. Not fun—or effective. Being able to divide up the workload makes for more effectiveness, more options, more fun. Once the vision is clarified and the path clear, who is going to do what in order to make it happen? Together it is easier to decide who is best suited for what responsibility and hash out what should be done by whom.
- Reigning in Pinky and the Brain With all this talent and knowledge brainstorming possibilities, it is important to also reign each other in. Actually, I did not even know about Pinky and the Brain until this weekend. At one point I said, “And then Michelle can translate everything into Spanish, and Olya can translate everything into Russian…” They all laughed and simultaneously replied, “And we can take over the world!” Then they showed me the Pinky and the Brain videos. Then I laughed.
- Laughter We laugh a lot more when we work together. Sometimes I laugh by myself, but it’s not the same. Shared laughter makes everything better. We all need more laughter and fun—a lot more. Find people who like to laugh with you and make work fun.
- Protection I realized I have a lot of very bad ideas, but without the feedback of others, I might actually think they were good and try to implement them. They showed me how youtube has brought this problem of bad ideas being put to public ridicule to a much higher level. Don’t want to go there!
What has been your experience? What are some things you would like to do? Have you been trying to do it alone? What problems has this caused? Are there people who can help you do it? Who would be the best people to make up your own team? How can you enlist their aid? I would love to hear about your efforts to make something happen and who has helped you along the way and how working together made it possible.