I have realized that asking for the “best” from my team members, or potential team members when going through the hiring process, does not necessarily reflect the qualities that I am truly looking for both as a manager and a fellow team member. Although the “best” employee may perform his or her tasks and duties exactly as asked, I have realized that I do not want to work with, work for or manage someone who can simply just perform. As managers and members of a team, we actually want the “most.” Simply stated, I would rather be, and manage, a captain than a MVP.
While the MVP typically sinks the buzzer-beater, scores the most points or runs the fastest, the captain calls the audible, gives the pre-game pump-up speech and shakes the hand of his/her opponent before the game. The captain is the voice for the team and leads in ways that ask for more from his/her teammates.
Just like in sports, you have to practice and train to become a captain in your job and career. In the agency life, specifically marketing, public relations and social media, training and practice includes a few key areas: writing, reading, verbal communication, creativity, and time management. There are other intangible skills that also need to be developed: thinking outside the box, teamwork, confidence, passion, quick thinking, and patience. Understandably, growing to a captain does not happen overnight in sports or in your job.
In the office and work environments, we want teammates who can think on their feet, pull their team members up when they are struggling and make decisions based on what is best for the team. Captains may not make the big play, but they are consistently part of the team’s successes, grow the team through failures and expect more from themselves and partners. Their performance is constant and their support for others is unwavering. Our team may not always be perfect but we definitely have a team of captains and are always working on developing more captains in the industry.
Written by Mary Paolantonio