There’s No ‘I’ in Team

Don't fall into the "lone wolf" mentality; rely on your "wolf pack" to accomplish great work.

Group projects
Person A: Does 99 percent of the work
Person B: Has no idea what’s going on the whole time
Person C: Says they’re going to help, but doesn’t
Person D: Disappears at the very beginning and doesn’t show up again until the very end

This meme – using members of the movie “The Hangover’s” “Wolf Pack” to describe each person – takes me right back to grade school, high school, and college. As Person A (no surprise there, I’m sure), I took control over every aspect of the project, from start to finish. I ended up doing all the work to ensure an A+ grade. I didn’t trust my team members to get the job done and I assumed I knew best – looking back, I’m not sure which of those is worse. At the end of the day, Persons B, C, and D were pretty lucky. All they had to do was add their names, show up on the deadline, and get a great grade.

Thanks to my fantastic editorial team, and some maturing on my end, I now know this type of “team effort” doesn’t work. 

At the 2019 ISA Sign Expo in Las Vegas, Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO, was asked what helped her grow the organization and herself as a professional. Her immediate response: learning how to facilitate and help others make decisions. 

As I add another role to my resume – editor-in-chief of our sister publication Screen Printing – delegating to my team is a must in order to continue doing what Big Picture does best: sharing breaking wide-format digital print news, inspiring case studies, hot trends and applications, and industry expertise; connecting with you at tradeshows and niche events; and interacting on our many social media accounts.

This transition allows for me to grow in the graphics industry, but also permits my team the opportunity to develop in their professions, as they add on new tasks and lead exciting projects for our brand. 

Hopefully you don’t have any Persons B through D in your shop – you should hire people you trust and who can grow within the business – but even more importantly, I hope you aren’t Person A. Speaking from way too many personal experiences, it’s not fair to you or your team to make all the decisions and do all the work yourself. After all, in the words of author Ken Blanchard, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

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