I've been kicking around a theory lately and thought it might be interesting to bring the topic back to you and, if you feel so moved, to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Here's the theory: We've all heard about the idea of creating a "Dream Team," a panel of experts or an advisory board that helps guide you. Sometimes it's for an organization; other times, for individuals. I've read about executives that employ this strategy and of course, many magazines have editorial advisory boards.
The question that lingers along the spine of this topic is how one goes about assembling such a group. Embracing a business group is one thing but what if you're searching for a "Dream Team" just for yourself? Who do you invite? What qualities are important to consider if this type of support appeals to you?
I think the characteristics-when optimized-are a bit more complex than simply gathering a group of like-minded individuals. In fact, I think "like-minded individuals" are exactly the wrong group to round up. The best-case scenario, I believe, is to gather people that would likely trigger one another-sometimes quite negatively-if you had them in a room together.
And even before the act of assembling one's Dream Team, there's actually a bit to be learned by investigating this idea. If I asked you what people-living or dead-would you want on your Dream Team, whom would you include? After you've named names, I'd ask you just one question:
Q: Why? Why would you want (for the sake of example here we'll plug in a name most people know) the actor Jim Carrey?
In response, you might say, "Because he's hilarious. But I know his humor comes from a lot of pain in his childhood. His mother was very ill when he was a kid and he really started this whole comedic thing then--to cheer her up. I'm fascinated and curious about that aspect of him."
Okay, so what does your answer tell me? It tells me that you find humor-even in dire circumstances-really important. (Check). It also tells me that you probably utilize humor and lightness in your own stressful circumstances when you can. (Check).
In translation, whoever ends up on your "Dream Team" will reflect your own core values without you actually trying to name or explain those values.
I'd like to invite you to experiment with this theory. If you could assemble a Dream Team, who might be on it? Why? Start with six people-either living or passed on-and begin to answer the question "Why?" with each one. And those people needn't be celebrities or well-known people. Perhaps one is a teacher or professor you had at some point, while another is a relative or clergy member. Those people could be just about anyone that deeply resonated with you.
I'd raise the bar another notch too and challenge you to assemble people that wouldn't see eye-to-eye on many issues. Imagine the dynamic tension of this group? Imagine what they would challenge one another on? But remember, you're the core element here. You're the center of the wheel; you are the hub. It's your team. There is something in you that is drawn to each of these people.
And if you're super motivated (and the people are available) actually recruit some Team Members for a get together. (Call them a posse if you like; whatever lingo works for you.) Invite them to coffee or create your own salon of dynamic thinkers. Arrange a meet up. Punt a topic or challenge them as a group to help you with something you're working on. In this space, your own mental boundaries are stretched and reworked.
And it's also the space where the creative magic happens.
Martha Beck-certified life coach, Equus coach, Penn State journalism instructor and professional writer.