4. Collaboration is key

Team sports have not always been my strong suit.

6th grade soccer was the last organized team that I belonged to. Instead, in middle school I tried out for a play – the high school was doing “Cheaper by the Dozen,” and they needed some little kids to play the younger sibling roles.

For the first time I could really see how my actions affected those of my peers. If I was late for my entrance, everyone had to stall waiting for me. If I was goofing off backstage instead of changing costumes like I was supposed to, it made everyone look bad.

Once I realized that if I messed up, I was letting my entire cast down more significantly then missing the soccer ball, I got my act together. I fell in love with drama and the camaraderie that developed on and offstage, and I have found few feelings as satisfying as the emotionally charged adrenaline rush from finishing a musical number surrounded by teammates all working together flawlessly.

Most fields of work require collaboration, especially advertising. Communication is important, but so is everyone pulling his or her own weight. I read this post on Edward Boches’s blog on the importance of teamwork and being on the same page as your creative partners. If you are on the same wavelength, working together shouldn’t feel like work, I think. It should feel like magic.

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