August 19, 2020

Building a Team is Hard

Forming a cohesive team feels a bit like building a rocket with just the general idea that rockets tend to go up and one end is where the payload sits and the other end is where the firey bits shoot out. You have to find the people that no only know what they’re doing, but they also have to effectively communicate to everyone else how the Energetic Particle Detector works or that the attitude of the rocket is not whether or not it’s being a nasty passive-aggressive git, but it’s actually the orientation in space (thus requiring an apology to your little rocket). It takes time to form a great team to launch, and you’re going to fail a whole lot. Look at the progress SpaceX made with their rockets. If their first rocket was a metaphor for a team (which I hope at this point is), then the team didn’t get very far and needs to be tinkered with.

There are people that bring you down. There are people that inspire you to work harder or more creatively. Some that put their head down and work through their task list without deviation. Others may be looking for distractions from the heavy lifting. Some are rude, funny, sober, clever, lazy, intelligent, daft, tactless, conforming, over-achieving, hard-working, brilliant, and dependable. There are also people who have absolutely no idea and are just faking it until they make it. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been all these people. Perhaps all at once.

It’s all about figuring out what makes the rocket fly the highest and most efficiently.

It’s certainly harder than it sounds. Nobody is Nick Fury, busting down doors, slappin’ baddies, and organizing a group of reluctant, yet characteristically obliged superheroes that will eventually save the world from Josh Brolin snapping half the world away. Nobody is George Clooney assembling a cast of capable, yet comedically flawed hooligans to steal money from the Bellagio Casino. Brad Pitt’s character is literally “Rusty Ryan” as if he hasn’t been in the big-heist game for some time but is absolutely itching to get back in. Ensemble movie references aside, building a team isn’t a playful montage to kick your story off.


__Nick Fury, kicking names and taking ass. __

You have to keep trying. You have to find who works in what role, move people around, hire people, and sadly let people go. I think that’s the hardest part, letting people go. Relationships are formed and then they can simply disappear. It’s can be like a breakup in a lot of ways. In the end, it takes communicating with team members on how they see themselves in their role and what the team really needs.

Build the rocket with the people who actually want to build the rocket. Sometimes people might think that they want to build the rocket, but they actually like building planes. They have to like building rockets, your rocket, your team’s rocket, so to speak.

Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to build a team that works. It takes time. Maybe the team you had in the beginning of your business was perfect, but as you grew, the team wasn’t right and you had to adjust. Conditions change. Economies change. Events happen. Losses occur. Victories emerge. Evaluating your team every once in a while might save some time, money, and headaches along the way.