Continuity of community beyond teams

There’s a lot of writing about management and team building that very reasonably focuses on teams within companies. These teams exist for a while and then get re-orged. They have people pass through until, like the ship of the Argonauts, the team has none of the same people but is somehow still the same “team.” That kind of a team does a lot for a company, though, and very little for you, over the course of your career. I invite you to consider the notion of team in a different way: Who’s with you, beyond any position, product, or company?

I learned a lot from watching groups of people who have long histories of working together. They had related, but not identical skills and an appreciation for the variation. They had been peers, managed in different directions, client and consultant. They were able to hold onto those roles lightly while holding firmly onto each other. They acted as if being “in charge” was not a statement about their worthiness, it was a hat one of them was putting on at different times. Like being “it” in a game of tag. Not better, just different. Something any of them could choose to do or not at various points in their careers together.