About Eclipse Theme
pop culture nerd. internet addict. foodie. going through life, searching, learning, and contemplating.
I had a conversation yesterday about what it’s like to be part of an A+ All-Star team at work.
It reminded me of my time at my last job, where I was part of the Advertiser Team. We had an awesome group. I can look back and say that proudly.
I know that feeling of being a part of something that was just firing off on all cylinders. But it was interesting to think about why I see it that way. Why do I think it was the best team around? How did we become such a great team?
First here are some reasons why I consider that team to be one of the best ones I’ve worked on:
- We got it done.
We were a well-oiled machine, working at peak efficiency. We delivered what we promised to deliver. It feels great to know that you produce actual results from your hard work.
- We were in sync.
I don’t recall if it took time for us to reach this, but I do know that we pretty much knew each other’s capabilities and limits. And we respected that. We were able to have productive meetings and plans because we knew what exactly to say to each other.
- We released high quality products.
I’d like to think that we released some bad-ass stuff. Not just functionality-wise, because we had some awesome product managers. But also codebase-wise. I was really fortunate enough to have a good mentor that held high standards. We hardly released anything that wasn’t easy to read and maintain. One of the things that we were most proud about, I think, is that we had very very few bugs.
- We got the recognition.
I think we established a really good rep within the company. And when we worked on prototypes, we really did get the recognition. We all usually didn’t work together during those times, usually teaming up with other groups and competing against each other. But when we got together for one particular prototype, we were just so into it, and we showed something that was production quality level. And pretty much everyone in the company thought so, too. That’s probably one of the fondest feelings I have about our group.
And here are some reasons I think how we got to accomplish being such a kick-ass group:
- Have high standards.
We really pushed ourselves on this. We really wanted to represent quality and perfection in our work. Thankfully, we were really good at what we were doing, and we complimented each other well. But even so, we all were open to learning and improving so we can always do the best we can do.
- Don’t take it personally.
I have to admit: we weren’t absolutely perfect. We had our share of stumbles. But what I think is vital to me valuing our group at A+ levels is that we didn’t take those faults or faux pas personally. We didn’t consider those things to be the standard of our work, at all. Because we knew that each member would learn from their blunders and never do it again.
- Trust and forgiveness.
Our dynamic would leave me to feel extreme guilt at first if I ever made a mistake, because I always want to do my best. But then I’m able easily move on from it and not have to constantly worry if I lost face to my co-workers. I took the criticism professionally, and never once thought my team would hold it against me in the future.
- Be able to relax and have fun.
We weren’t all serious busy-bodies. We knew we all had our own interests and ways to unwind. We recognized the need to let off steam and to let our brains rest after reps of working them out. And it was great that we all had the same sense of humor. That’s probably very rare to find, where you can be a certain level of ridiculous without having to worry about offending someone. But either way, we knew that in order to be efficient, we had to make sure we didn’t overwork ourselves.
Hopefully I gave some useful insights on building a great team. My experience with them is probably one of the most rewarding in my career which I will always hold in the highest regards.
It’s me and a bunch of friends hanging out on a rooftop at night. I think it’s Halloween. I think we’re either in middle school or high school. We’re chatting. We’re thinking playing pranks.
We decide to play the “haunting” game. We’ll run around the neighborhood and try to hide while one person is the “ghost” and tries to find us and “scare” us. If he catches you and scares you, you become a ghost too. He will have a camera on him for some reason. We all scatter to abandoned homes, climbing walls and trees and roofs.
The game had begun and soon enough things start to escalate. Manic screaming starts to fill the air and neighbors start to rouse out of their home, more annoyed than anything else.
I’m climbing an old great dead tree, trying to hide amongst its branches, but soon I see a “ghost” trying to find me from the ground.
Then suddenly a bunch of police cars appear, with cops exiting with their flash lights on.
I climb down and escape.
Somehow the neighborhood is in chaos. The cops are everywhere now trying to bring order to the place. One tries to stop me and asks me questions. I reply I have no idea. He searches my pockets. I have some candy and say that it _is_ Halloween. He lets me go.
I make it back to base, but now I feel like I’m in a drugged daze. I can’t really think straight, and everything is spinning.
There are a bunch of people on the roof and I try to relax, looking across at the street at the other homes. I am still woozy.
A girl who I think has a crush on me is talking to her friend. I think I may or may not have a crush back. Somehow they convince me that her parents are gone from their house and that they have a pool. I said cool let’s go swimming.
But as soon as I stand, things black out.
I then stir. My mind struggling to awake. I’m face down on the roof, naked. I feel my face, it’s wet. Oh wait, is my nose running…. the girl finds me and I ask her if my nose is bleeding, and she says yes. I feel it dripping down my nose all over my lips and chin. I look down and apparently I’ve been bleeding a lot from where I was passed out.
I look at the stream of blood flowing down the roof and into the gutters.
And then I look across the street back at the houses… but they’re not there! It’s an empty lot, a rectangle of dirt where the houses were supposed to be, somehow raised or demolished.
And then I hear in the distance a riot approaching. A swarm of them. Angry people upset that the chaos from the night before obliterated pretty much everyone’s homes except our base. They surround the house, looking up at us on the roof, screaming and yelling.
We all start the scramble back. My face is still dripping with blood. I try to yell at them to stop, to think rationally. They’re climbing the walls and up onto the roof. They come closer and closer until they can see my face and me pleading with them. One takes a look at me and stops, changes his mind, and tells everyone to leave.