I've always enjoyed team sports over individual sports. If I play tennis, I'm playing doubles. And that's not just because I don't want to cover the whole court.
I've had a couple experiences of working as a team of one, and I didn't like it much. The camaraderie of being on a team, especially a great team, is undeniable. Teammates push and learn from each other. In the best cases they grow together, bond, and create friendships and fulfilling memories.
I've reflected a lot on teams recently as I've been building one at work. How do we complement each other? What's the best environment for us to work together? How can we positively challenge each other? How do we make each other's lives better?
I recently went hiking to Pratt Lake with my REI teammates (because that's how we do). That time was so much more valuable than most meetings we'll have this year because it's time we got to hang out, be ourselves and create experiences together. It really helps to have more in common than where our paychecks come from. We'll be a more productive, inspired group back in the office because of it.
You know you're on the right team when you enjoy the time you spend with each other even when the work gets hard, and the relationships you have transcend beyond the job. When I'm an old dude, ready to retire and coast off into some sunset or hillside, I believe I will look back and value the people I worked with more than the work itself.
I won't remember all of the desk time or project or meetings. I'll remember Pratt Lake.