Recently I found myself with some extra time to complete some reading that I haven’t had much time to do since going back to school a couple of years ago. I was reading through the Walter Issacson biography on Steve Jobs and Bryce G. Hoffman’s biography on Alan Mulally and The Ford Motor Company. I chose these two books based on how different, yet similarly successful, both Jobs and Mulally have been in their professional roles.
As different as they are (Jobs was known as a driver with no patience for less-than-stellar products or ideas while Mulally was known as patient communicator and collaborator), there was a theme in the early chapters of each book that struck me: the formation of teams. According to Jobs, “People said they wouldn’t get along, they’d hate working with each other. But I realized that “A” players like to work with “A” players, they just didn’t like working with “C” players.” While Jobs was building a company and teams within a company from scratch, Mulally had the burden of overcoming years of corporate back-stabbing and division within the Ford Motor Company and had to unite the executive staff, while implementing accountability that Ford was not used to.
Both Jobs and Mulally forced different business units to work together in ways that were uncommon in their industries. At Apple, engineers had to work within the confines created by designers whereas at all other technology companies at the time, the designers were shown the hardware and were tasked with designing cases around what had been created, leading to the boring, beige, rectangles that occupied work spaces for so many years. Ford engineers and designers were forced to work with the marketing, supplier, and quality teams to improve their products from desirability, cost, and quality standpoints. This was something that the Japanese automakers had done for years but the American automakers had resisted since the 70’s.
The netlogx team is composed of people with diverse talents and experience but when combined, we can provide any service that our potential clients need. All it takes is for each of us to embrace “one netlogx”, own our individual role, and recognize the direction that the team is going. Looking around the room at a recent team building event it was clear that we are a team composed of “A” Players. We also are a team that works to complement each other instead of treating one another as competition. The future is certainly bright for netlogx!