random thoughts

Celebrations & Vacations

Posted on August 8, 2008. Filed under: celebrations, random thoughts, tangents, team building |

I ran across an old friend yesterday who is back in town to get some visa issues sorted out.  He had invited a bunch of people together for drinks and reminisce over old times.

As I was sitting there and listening to stories from some of his other friends I found an interesting pattern.  A great many of the people there had worked together as teenagers at a local restaurant.  They talked with great fondness about those days and all the fun that they had.  They didn’t remember the hard work of serving people and dealing with customer complaints.  They remembered the fun times when they shut the restaurant down and sat around watching movies, they talked about disagreements they had with the boss, and camping trips that they shared.

It got me thinking that this is a definite aspect of building a team.  These people have all left the restaurant and moved through life: relationships have come and gone, children have arrived, jobs have been found and lost and kept, but the friendships have endured.  Sometimes when we build a team and are focused on delivering software we sometimes forget that there is a world after the job.

I think that sometimes we forget the larger world and our obligations to the social interactions of our employees.  If you can build a team where friendships develop and last over many decades it almost seems that the building of software becomes of secondary importance.  Jobs come and go, money comes and goes, but friends are something that need to be cherished and kept through life.

By building a team that works hard together and plays together you will have started knitting together the individuals into a cohesive whole that is larger than the sum of the parts (wow, how about some cheesy images there!)   You will have enriched the lives of the team members and made the world a better place by connecting people and allowing them to support each other through the difficult journey of life.

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