CEOs say it all the time. That a team of talented individuals who bring diverse perspectives can lead to breakthrough results. Venture capitalists say the same thing. That just about every start-up that makes it big, begins with a strong and cohesive leadership team. Even business schools and law schools look for it. High potential students who have a habit of working well with other people. That’s because a team working together is effective, and sometimes it can be unstoppable. And just today, I met with a few people that I’ve been teaming up with in the MBA and careers blogging world.
Just today I met with my friends Marquis Parker and Jullien Gordon in Chicago. Although the group meeting about our websites wasn’t specifically planned, after a few texts and calls we all ended up getting together and sharing our experiences and ideas on careers blogging and web 2.0. And not only did we share our passions and ideas for the future of our sites but we also discussed some of the actual steps we need to take to get there. Our diverse audience of readers. Technology hurdles that each of us are facing. Techniques to reach a wider range of interested readers. And most importantly ways to work together to share more information.
You might be asking yourself, what’s the value in having a group of people get together to talk? Well for one, my view is that everyone is at least a little bit biased, so new objective perspectives can be valuable. Also important is the fact that we’re all still learning and none of us knows everything. So bringing new team members to your specific space can increase the exchange to useful information and allow everyone to be far more productive together.
Perhaps more interesting though is that we all ended up even coming together at all. That we connected not because of our professional backgrounds or our cities, but because we’re linked through careers blogs and also because we’re all alumni of Stanford. And although Jullien and Marquis met at Stanford Business School years ago, I only met the two more recently, through our online careers sites and also through organizations we’re mutually a part of.
With that in mind, it was good to listen to Marquis’ and Jullien’s take on the value connecting with others, because many of the things they said are viewpoints that I also believe. Similarly, it was also interesting to see others who share the same passion for sharing information with the broader community and interest communicating in the new 2.0 world. In fact, Marquis already beat me to the punch and put together a web post on networking after our gathering today, where he gave his take on the power of tapping into your network to meet new people. (I highly recommend signing up for his site)
And after listening to his post, I’ve confirmed what I’ve said many times before. That the ability to connect with others is absolutely critical. That leadership is about influencing others but to do that, you first have to be able to connect with them. And it today’s age that means in person and in the online world. But we also talked about how difficult that is today, given people have more limited time and given that the web is infiltrated with too much information. And as we talked, we quickly came to understand the value in collectively brainstorming about trends and ideas and equally share resources to overcome these hurdles together.
That’s because the best leaders understand the value of teamwork. That high-performing teams are the core of high-performing organizations. And that a team working together, especially in the age of 2.0, can deliver breakthrough results and reach a wider audience than you ever thought was possible. And that’s true no matter what your ultimately goal is. Whether the goal is to drive revenues at a company, litigate the next big Supreme Court case, fuel growth at the next innovative start-up, or in our case, reach out to a more diverse set of people and serve the broader community by sharing information to those who need it.
And in the end, when a team’s ideas are exchanged and its energies aligned, you can merge into one super-performing unit working together to create change.