We don't get our dreams done on our own.
We weren't meant to.
Which is why we need ‘dare to dream' teams.
Like my ‘dare to dream' creative team.
Brandon Jameson — Brandon Jameson designed the logo and banner for ‘dare to dream', everything Know Your Neighbor and my personal stationery. Brandon's design work visually captures what I try to convey in words.
LaNola Kathleen Stone — In the first three issues of Organize Magazine, you saw Kathleen's images, as well as her work as Creative Director. Through her photography Kathleen captures the magnificence of people and places.
All rights reserved. LaNola Kathleen Stone, 2008.
All images are copyright by Mallika Sundaramurthy and Whitney Johnson, 2008.
As I analyze the dynamic of my relationship with this creative ‘dream team', there seem to be some broadly applicable observations:
1. Start with short-term projects — If you intend to start a business or non-profit, before expanding the scope of the relationship, work on a short-term project first, such as a benefit for the community or your children's school.
Lamentably, I don't always do this. Either because I'm too relationship-centered and/or overly excited about someone's dream, I sometimes impetuously move into a major project, without vetting my partner(s) and they me, only to find out later we can't work together: we have different timetables, different visions, different views on the give vs. get. That's when things become dicey. Take it from a sadder, poorer, but wiser girl.
2. Trust our collaborators' competence — Once we've worked on a few limited scope projects and have fully worked out rules of engagement, it's important to trust our collaborators. If we're micro-managing, perhaps we just need to stop micro-managing. Or maybe we didn't pick our partners as well as we thought we did.
For example, after I broad-stroked for Brandon what I wanted for the ‘dare to dream' logo, he came back with something completely different which I didn't like. But because I'd loved his previous work, I was willing to ‘live' with his vision for a few days, eventually realize that his vision was perfect, just perfect — When we put our heads together, we experience systergy, and can accomplish our dreams.
3. Recognize that our collaborators will not be good at what we're good at – If we choose someone for a project because they can do what we cannot do (design, photograph, paint), the almost certain corollary is that we will be good at things they aren't.
It was not too long ago that I believed that if you couldn't spell you were dumb. Until. Until I discovered that there were some who thought I was dumb because I had (and have) a poor sense of direction (even after living in Manhattan for 10 years, when I came up out of the subway, and would begin to head east, you could be sure that I was heading west — a true contrarian indicator). Am I dumb? No. Are people that don't spell well dumb? No. We are just smart in different ways – and when we can harness ‘smart in different ways', we have the makings of a ‘dare to dream' team.
4. Give people their due in terms of compensation and credit — When our collaborators do good work, let's give them credit. Tell as many people as possible. Just because they don't ask for praise and/or compensation, doesn't mean they don't want or even need it. They may not know how to ask, or even what they are worth. What a gift we can give if we help our friends and co-workers to know their worth.
What ‘dare to dream' project are you working on or thinking of undertaking? Do you have a ‘dare to dream' team?
How are we helping our spouse/friends/colleagues with their dreams? Are we giving them enough information so that they can help us with ours?
To what extent are we as parents part of our children's ‘dare to dream' team? Do we collaborate with them? We can't really do vet them, but we can trust their strengths, and not micro-manage.
What about the people that are part of the ‘rearing our children' ‘dare to dream' team? Their teachers, coaches, nannies, friends' parents? Do we trust and appreciate them?
Are we adequately compensating people for the work that they are doing whether via money, barter (an exchange of goods or services)? And if they ask not to be paid, are we insisting — especially with women?
A Hero of Support
Asking for What We Want
Valuing What Women Do