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You Just Need A Good Team

Latoya Burris

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“Go Toya! You got this,” is what my coach yells at me during my first ever powerlifting competition.

We can describe the atmosphere as intense with loud shouting, roaring, clapping and a ton of support. That pretty much describes my weekend, and let’s not forget to mention that I also got first place in my first ever powerlifting competition. The amount of love and support that was shared amongst teammates was limitless and downright beautiful. Each and every one of my teammates got on the platform and performed under pressure. The biggest lesson I learned that day is that anything is possible with a good team.

Just like my teammates in the powerlifting club, a good design team gets results. As an art director, you want to make sure that the entire team understands the goals of the project. All things must be laid out, such as the scope of the project, the budget, and the goals. Once that is understood, it's your job to pick a team that is going to create an empowering dynamic and gets the desired results.

Just like a platform at a Powerlifting competition.

Each member should be able to join the team and create a smashing solution for any project. How do you make sure that the team members perform? The first thing is to identify each member's strengths and weaknesses and teach them how to utilize both in a productive manner. You also must guide and encourage them throughout the project and make sure that they stay on task.

A team is only as good as it’s parts.

To create the right team, everyone has to fit together. Everyone must understand the objective, and in design that’s what we call a creative brief. As the art director, you contact potential members who you believe can offer the results and the kind of work needed to fit the project. But before you contact those people you must make sure that they will have a perfect synergy. Otherwise, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

Leadership is the Northern Star in the sky.

When a team has a good leader they feel confident and reassured. During my training for the competition I went through many hardships, such as losing my mother to breast cancer. However, I believe it was the mentorship and support that my coach provided that help me stay focused and in the game. The same goes for a design team working on a million dollar project. It can be taxing and stressful, but leadership is the glue that keeps the team going. A good leader can push a good team to great levels of success.

So the next time you’re building your design team, ask yourself whether you are a good leader. Then make sure you consider that you’re just as good as your parts. Those parts are your teammates, and together you guys can make your clients pretty darn happy.