Sunday was the world cup finals and the US team played beautifully.
They embody the word “team” in all its glory. It is a nice metaphor, so tempting. I understand why people call things “teams” that are generally more work than play. Why I’ve done it. I answer an RFP with sentences like “The Land+Shelter team…” We talk about teams within a project too, with phrases like: “the project design team is working on an alternate…” We mean the engineers and other consultants too – not just the architects. We are representing ourselves as the finest version of a group of co-workers. I think it belies the reality of professional life. Architecture is not recreation, much as I love it. Entering into the headspace of a sports team in a small business environment seems like asking for disappointment. I’m pretty sure I have felt that disappointment, externalized it, and regretted both externalization and regret with consistency.
So if that is not the goal post, then I need a different approach. But then there are those memories of teams – and how uplifting that can be. Don’t you want that, today – as a part of your life? I think my teammates are more present to me in the memory of our quiet rituals of preparation than they are in our victories and defeats. They buoy swathes of my life in a constellation of people I cared about – would run ragged for – hold my secrets. Is there a possible overlap of that with a workplace? I’m asking and seeking. I think it’s a maybe that I would like to be a maybe-yes. And what I think it comes down to is trust, like so many things in life. I need to trust that my teammates will do their job the way I did playing soccer, just to mirror the metaphor.