When life throws you a curveball, it’s amazing how quickly your role can shift, and all that control you once had seems to slip through your fingers. That’s exactly what happened to me recently when I found myself knee-deep in the chaos of planning three tradeshow booths in a mere four weeks. As the referee and approver for my “new(ish)” team, I knew I had to step back and trust them to take the reins while I delved into crisis management. Little did I know the incredible journey of trust, reliance, and newfound camaraderie that awaited us.
Sitting in my first team meeting after realizing just how deep I would have to dive to lift these events off the ground, I mustered the courage to ask my team for a little “grace.” To my surprise, what unfolded before my eyes went far beyond any grace I could have imagined. Not only were they granting me the understanding I sought, but they were also extending the same grace to one another. It was a sight to behold. In fact, they were communicating so effectively that I began to wonder if they even needed me anymore.
You know, it reminded me of those summers growing up when my mother, a retired family practice doctor, would go to work and leave my two brothers and me with strict instructions: “Do not call me at work unless someone is dead. Or bleeding.” She said it with such unwavering conviction, and she meant every word. Oh, how I wish I could have applied her “emergency line” rule to my team! But you know what? They didn’t need it. They were thriving on their own, just like my brothers and I did under our mother’s no-nonsense approach.
At first, I’ll admit, my heart ached a little at the thought of not being needed. It was a blow to the ego, no doubt. However, in a moment of playful banter during a Friday call with one of my team members, I couldn’t help but ask that dreaded question we all secretly hope to hear, “Did you miss me?” I half-jokingly added. To my surprise, she burst into laughter and exclaimed, “Of course we did!” Her response brought a wide smile to my face and a sense of quiet satisfaction. I was still an integral part of the team, and I reveled in that feeling.
You see, forming a new professional team is like a series of trust falls. We start off clinging to control, hesitant to let go, unsure if our teammates will catch us. But as we surrender to the process, something beautiful happens. We learn to trust, to lean on one another, and to celebrate each other’s strengths. It’s a dance of collaboration and reliance that takes time and effort to perfect.
In those moments of doubt and vulnerability, when we question our place in the team, we must remember that trust doesn’t diminish our value; it enhances it. It allows us to step back and witness the incredible capabilities of those around us, marveling at how they rise to the occasion. And when we do have those moments of doubt, it’s often the response we receive, like my team member’s laughter and reassurance, that reminds us of the impact we still have, even when we loosen our grip.
So here’s to the beauty of teamwork, to the trust falls, the “grace” we seek, and the moments of reflection that reveal our indispensability. Let us embrace the journey, hand in hand, knowing that together we can achieve greatness. And when someone asks, “Did you miss me?” may we always respond with a resounding, “Of course we did!” At the end of the day, what truly matters is not just our individual contributions, but the collective strength we build as a team. It’s the ability to rely on one another, to trust in each other’s skills and expertise, and to come together in times of challenge. So, let’s celebrate the hardships we’ve overcome, the growth we’ve experienced, and the bonds we’ve forged along the way. Because together, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Here’s to trusting, leaning, and finding joy in the journey of building an exceptional team.
About the Author:
Annika Bergum, Vice President of Marketing And Business Development is the unstoppable force behind our marketing and business development endeavors. She’s a marketing maestro who can orchestrate strategies that resonate with our target audience and drive business growth. Her keen eye for market trends and her ability to craft compelling narratives have propelled brands to new heights. She navigates the ever-changing landscape of retail innovation with finesse, leveraging emerging technologies, and innovative strategies.