Let me introduce you to my friend, Julie. Julie Pierce has one crazy dream: to empower leaders to change the world. She does this through coaching, consulting teams, and speaking around the country. Author of Play, Team, Play!, she lives in the Dallas area with her family. Julie is a dear friend and Writers Boot Camp graduate.
by Julie Pierce
I reported to a stranger.
Every Monday morning, my boss and I met to dissect my team’s latest marketing plan. His cut-to-the-chase tone and mannerisms made it clear to me he didn’t care to know me as a person, only the details of our projects. These meetings left me feeling like a commodity rather than a contributor, a producer rather than a person.
A few hours later, I’d walk into a meeting with those who reported to me. The transition was like an unexpected ice bucket challenge: a shock to the system.
I knew my team. I sympathized with the financial pressure Frank felt as he pursued a master’s degree. I appreciated Nicki’s ability to silence a crowd with her chimpanzee call. And I understood Cara’s nervousness about pregnancy and Charlie’s nerves about proposing.
In turn, my team knew me. They recognized the “tell” of my tiredness—that’s when my Texas twang drawled every word out for days. They could read the stress on my face and the sparkle in my eyes.
The stark contrast between these two meetings highlighted a deeper truth:
Working for a stranger isolates and demotivates.
Working with a connected team includes and energizes.
Frank, Nicki, Cara, Charlie and I had moved from having a cursory knowledge of cubemates to becoming a knowing community of teammates. Because we knew each other beyond our titles and alma maters, we were motivated to help each other succeed. We wanted to see each other’s strengths shine.