It’s no secret that I’m married to Vitality South’s VP of Technology, Chris Elkins, and we have 2 beautiful girls, Vivienne (10) and Layla (8). This past Sunday at church I asked them to walk ahead into the building where I would join them momentarily. While extroverted little girls might have ran in without looking back, after all they have been attending this same church regularly since infancy, my little girls looked at me like deer in headlights at this request.
After seeing their shocked little expressions, I suggested they hold hands and go together. They firmly grasped each others hands and resolutely marched in together without looking back. While I know that both Vivienne and Layla were independently afraid, collectively they were very, very brave. They borrowed each other’s strength. They motivated the other to move forward.
I think good team members do that very same thing for each other. They lend each other their strengths and compensate for other’s weaknesses. They motivate each other to go forward. I believe when we’re structuring our teams within our businesses, we need to strategically evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and motivators of individuals within the teams to make them collectively an unstoppable force. While individually, no person is perfect, I do think near perfection is achievable with the right teams.
Our custom programming team, for example, has 3 very different individuals. We have a “back end programmer” – this is the super nerdy and technical aspects of programming like security and managing databases. (Yes, my Chris is this one) We have a “front end developer” who does the semi-nerdy work of making the app look good for customers and do what you want it to. And we have a totally non-nerdy designer who makes sure the mobile apps and software projects are beautiful, submitted where they need to go, and keeps the other two programmers in check. Together, they root each other on, hold each other accountable, and count on the others’ abilities when they face a big new project.
Just like my 2 precious girls, holding hands and walking into the unknown, our teams can work together to charter the unknown – better together.