How Is Your Team Like Your Teeth?

A team can be naturally beautiful, or just pretty on the outside…Know whether your team has good hygiene, or just a good set of veneers.


One of the striking things about celebrities today, particularly U.S. celebrities, is that they rarely have questionable teeth. Their teeth are all pearly white, straight as a keyboard, and larger than life.

How can that be?

I mean, anyone need only look as far back as the 1980s to see natural teeth on actors of all types; perhaps the best illustrations would be Tom Cruise’s and Kelly McGillis’s choppers in Top Gun.  They weren’t bad by real people’s standards…they were real.  But by today’s standards, they were…subpar.  Both actors have taken steps since then, and both doubtlessly invested plenty of cash.

Today, even the lowest level budding stars get work done on their teeth (and other things) to the point that it’s hard to tell what’s real anymore.  The fundamental question one might reasonably ask is:  Who has good hygiene vs. just a good fixer?

That doesn’t matter when you’re picking your movie stars, but it does matter when you’re picking your next team, and that’s the point of this post.

Your teeth, your team

Like the glamorous celebrity’s grill, the team you are joining might be forged out of natural beauty, strong roots, and superb genetics, or it might be held together with a high-tech patchwork of braces, veneers, and chemicals.  It might be the result of great hygiene and spectacular care, or it might be the result of a shortcut to the local strip mall for some tenderness.

Is there a difference?

When it comes to teeth?  No.  But when it comes to your team?  Absolutely. That team you’re thinking of joining needs roots, genetics, and good hygiene.  It needs good relationships, alignment, and constant care.

But how can you tell whether your team is composed of veneers held by a brace?

Easy, test for hygiene.  Test for relationships, alignment, and—yes—joy; there is no joy in a team of artificial players.  Test for values. Ask whether team members regard each other as people; ask how they spend their time out of work. Plenty of teams will talk about concepts of doing good, values, camaraderie, and such, but those are veneers.  Fewer teams can point to times when fundamental values have been challenged and how they resolved the challenges.  That’s where teams are made…the defining moments.

This is a short post that is more about your career and your personal choices than it is about the team you’re a part of.  It’s rare that a single member can change the position of an entire team unless that member is the leader. So when it comes to your team, you can either grin and bear the reality of a team of veneers, or you can smile at the opportunity to be a part of something deeper.

Now it’s your turn:  What does a team you can smile at look like?  Leave a reply if you have a moment.

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