Sunday, April 17, 2011

Teams and Collaboration

I've had a perspective shift recently in regards to the power of an individual in the context of high achievement. I used to really believe in the strength of a single powerhouse muscling his or her way to what they wanted to get. One influence was the work of one of my favorite authors, Ayn Rand. The heros in her books tend to be the types that just totally kill it in their crafts and the value of them as the central driver is really played up… to a large extent, this IS mega important.

But I've been noticing more and more that the people that are real beasts at what they do are always surrounded by other people who are at their same level. Not necessarily in the same craft, but on the same or higher level at what they've chosen to do.

Related teamwork, here's the video that inspired me to get me thoughts written down about this from Kelly Cutrone of PR firm, People's Revolution. Even though it's related to fashion, it's so obviously applicate to anything else:

Just because I've recently really been into the song "Government Hooker" that Lady Gaga debuted at the Theirry Mugler show a month or so ago, I'll take her as an example...

Now even though there are people who say she has no talent, I also feel that some people always have a negative knee-jerk reaction to pop music. Hell, I have it with country music, so I can't be all that judgmental.

However, Lady Gaga's someone who, from a musical-talent standpoint (i.e. on-pitch vocals, accurate sense of rhythm, etc), has it. However, there are a lot of super-talented singers… Akon signed her (and presumably advised her related to the business side of music), she has Nicola Formichetti working with her for styling, and has producers like RedOne collaborating with her for musical direction.  An all-star team...

Here's the result of that collaboration and teamwork (plus of Sébastien Peigné, the designer working with Nicola at Mugler now). Each excelling at their strengths: Peigné and Formichehetti excelling at designing and styling the clothing, Gaga providing amazing vocals and getting the crowd riled up and hooting DURING the show and all set to tracks of a sound shaped RedOne:

No one is an island...

I remember like six years ago that a person's income is an average of the five people he or she spends the most time with. I think not only is that applicable to income, but to everything: tolerance, intelligence, fitness and health, creativity… We tend to become our peers so it's important for me to consciously select my "team" around me.