The Best Teams Act Like Musicians

The Best Teams Act Like Musicians – 99U

  • Switch Chairs (and Roles) Often

“The aggregate personality is really crucial, and it’s something that you have to address with a group culture that is subtle and trusting enough that collective personality will naturally come into being,”

  • Play Your Part

“…worrying about the legitimacy of one’s contributions leads to a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Instead, understand that interpretation is embedded in the nature of the job itself.”


  • Don’t Compare


…be picky about your influences. Focus on specific qualities you admire in people rather than their overall personalities, speech patterns, résumés, or CVs.


  • Distribute Your Energy Wisely


“…Knowing where to put your energy can save you from burnout—and it’ll be healthier for your team overall. “

  • Anticipate Needs


“…anticipation is part prediction, part preparation. You predict what the person is going to say (even if it ends up being totally off-base), and you prepare your response accordingly.”

  • Don’t Assign: Nominate


“Instead of relying on higher-ups to delegate tasks, or waiting for others to volunteer time, try nominating someone once in a while.”

  • Sound Check Often


“…means you can be frank: what is the most glaring thing that needs fixing? What would you say to inspire your colleagues to do better?”

  • Know the Score


“…have a thorough understanding of what the other players are doing. That way, each person sees where he or she needs to play out, echo, draw back, move forward, hand off, or complement the other..”

  • Embrace Uncertainty


“…be inspired enough that you want to be leading it, and yet most of the time, you can’t.”


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