Growing up, I remember the days in which I got to sneak out and play basketball with the children living in the same apartment building. I say sneak because my parents didn’t want me to waste my time on unproductive things; my time was best spent helping at our convenience store. While I liked helping my parents, I did enjoy the camaraderie and the friendly competition.
Back then a game of basketball started with the top two players picking their teammates. What a great feeling to be picked first, but that’s not my luck as I’m not the best player and usually play a backup role. There were times I was the last two picked and I dreaded being picked last. I don’t remember being the last one standing, but I remember vividly that the team leader picked players he deemed could help his team win the game. That is my early recollection of team formation. As I grew up, I got to pick players and I often asked myself the question: Who is the best rebounder, excellent ball handler, great low-post player, etc.?
I’ve played on many team sports and for the most part the coaches do employ a certain rationale as to how they form their team. Throughout my career, I’ve observed how my manager would hire certain people with certain skillsets to help us achieve our goal.
So, what’s my point for this post? My point for this post is that, while this strategy of hiring people with different skillsets to help strengthen your team is important, it is equally important that you create your own inner circle that can collectively help everyone in your inner circle. By doing so, you can enable others and help them help you achieve your goal. As you go through your career, keep an eye on people who specialize in things that you’re not really good at. Connect with them and bring them along to your next opportunity to make things happen. Remember that you don’t need to do it alone; collectively you can make things happen and take care of each other and help achieve the company’s goal.
I’ll leave you with a quote by Derek Jeter, “Surround yourself with good people. People who are going to be honest with you and look out for your best interests”
team sports give great lessons.