Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: team

J is for “Jinkies!”

Velma is a character from Scooby Doo, and she used to say, “jinkies” whenever she was surprised or had an epiphany.  I love that expression– it’s got a great sound and it’s so innocent and sweet sounding.

I had an epiphany yesterday that relates to my aspirations and goals.  I’ve been thinking all along that I really want a team of people to work with.  That comes from thinking of when I was happiest in my work, feeling most productive, feeling most useful, feeling most passionate about what I was doing.  And that’s been when I am working on something bigger than myself with others.  But one of the challenges with that is finding the team.

So I was having lunch with a friend and she was saying how she has taken on things herself– starting two small businesses– and that’s been the key.  She pushed her own ideas and vision and then has gathered people strategically around herself after getting those endeavors started.  But she is the main person.  She actually advised against working with partners or teams because then things get diluted and priorities are not always in sync among those involved.  For example, although you and another person might be on the same page when you start something, personal circumstances can change which then changes the page that people are on.  A person might get married, have kids, want to move, have a financial challenge, etc.  And so you and that person are no longer on the same page because of these external circumstances.


I’ve been feeling some pressure to find that “group” or team or even partner to pursue something with, but maybe that comes secondary to my idea, my passion, my vision.  Maybe, maybe not.  But at least it was food for thought.

It was another realization that it’s never all or nothing.  It’s about having vision and hopes and then being open to what might lead me closer to those.  Having a clear cut path never is the answer because we can’t predict what the future holds.  I just hope to remain open.

Another random thought about Velma– I kind of look like her/ she kind of looks like me– just a white version of me!


Morning Musings: Dream Team Redux

It’s a beautiful morning.  Some relief from the last few days/ weeks of heat and humidity.  I can smell the fresh air through my windows and hear the motor of a lawn mower as grass is being cut.  And it’s still the weekend!  I love moments like this.

I was watching episodes of Farscape, a sci-fi show from the early 2000s, by the Jim Henson company!  My brother recommended it to me when I said I was looking for a good series to get hooked to that’s available on Netflix.  It’s been interesting so far.  And I was thinking about the composition of a dream team.  In many cases a team is developed over time, not formed on the spot.  The team on this show was thrown together and because they had no choice but to work together, they did and are learning to respect each other and collaborate, not fight.  But it takes all their efforts to swallow a little pride, give up a little of one’s own way of doing things, and throw in when the situation is dire.  And though it might be easy to say that the main character, John Crichton, is the leader, it’s not always that obvious.  Everyone plays a part in leading and making the teamwork work.  And as one character, Zhaan, says, everything is about “time and patience.”

So that’s a reminder for me– I tend to think there’s a perfect version of everything and that that’s what I’m aspiring toward rather than realizing that my own version is the perfect version for the time being.  And with the formation of a dream team, I have to realize the same– that I’m not just going to one day form the perfect team, but the team may rise out of the unexpected motley crew of individuals who just happen to be in the same room, in the same city, at the same time, with nothing else in common.

A Dream Team?

It’s been a busy week of family activities.  One brother and his family came to stay two days in my one-bedroom apartment (two adults and two kids in my bedroom!  What fun for them!).  Then my parents came and stayed.  Then we all met up with my other brother and his new baby.  Lots of driving around New England, weathering the humidity, and celebrating the next generation of our family.

I’ve had some time to think, away from work, about my future and what I hope to find after I return from my travels (see my Aspirations).  Two things that I’ve been thinking a lot about are wanting to find a team of amazing people to work with and wanting to work on/with/toward an alternative system of living which is humane, socially ecologically just, and based on a currency of love, not dollars.

So who are these “amazing” people I want to find?  And what challenges might I encounter in 1) finding and 2) getting them on board with whatever I want to do?

These amazing people are

  • smart
  • motivated
  • committed to people and ideas
  • reliable
  • self-initiators
  • values-driven
  • a mix of detail and big picture oriented
  • socially conscious
  • able to learn things quickly
  • disciplined– knows when to work and when to relax and play

I know people now that fit these criteria but I just haven’t asked them to get on board with me on any idea or project.  I’m afraid of being turned down, of being disappointed, of relying on others who might not be committed to the same degree.  The aspect of a team is so important for success, I believe, but it’s hard to find one’s dream team.

And then even if and when I find these people, will they be ready to take a leap with me when I want to?  Will the timing work?

A few years ago, I was on a mission to start a school.  I got together a team of people that I knew and trusted and who each had some of the criteria above.  But at that time, I had the time and they didn’t.  So I led the team.  It just became too much and I needed more partners, not just team members who were willing to contribute in meetings but that was it. These were amazing people, but they weren’t really part of a team.

I’m part of a team now, a board that I volunteer on, and again, we do great in meetings, but as soon as the meetings are done, everything is forgotten.  And I sometimes feel like I’m the only one thinking about things in between meetings.  And this is a volunteer thing!

I’ve had enough of people who are just willing to contribute in meetings!  I want people who are willing to get deep in the trenches with me to do the work day-in and day-out. Where are those people?  I don’t even need that many– just a few who can go through it with me.

How do you find people to work with on your ventures? 

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