BooksFamily/CommunicationPeopleAugust 23, 20159Lights, Camera, Action!

Watching a great team in action is cool - getting to work with them is even better...

I love being around peo­ple who are good at things. Last week and this, we’ve turned the NYC Pro­teus office into the Pro­teus pop-up stu­dio: the swing office is the edit suite, the coach­ing space is the actors’ green room, the kitchen is craft ser­vices, and every oth­er space is some­how being used as a set. Over five days of shoot­ing, we’re cre­at­ing 24 sep­a­rate pieces of video, all of which will be up on when it goes live in October.The still below is from the film­ing of the intro to my new book (com­ing from Bib­liomo­tion in March), Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future.

Our part­ners in this endeav­or are the tal­ent­ed, smart, fun­ny, and warm pro­fes­sion­als of Capis­co, a Paris-based film group led by Clement Jou­ve. It’s such a plea­sure to work with them—I’m find­ing out so much, both about film-mak­ing and about great teams. Watch­ing Jim, the direc­tor, work with the actors and Del­phine, his sec­ond cam­era per­son, to get exact­ly the shots that make each scene work, and that give Max, the edi­tor, just what he needs to make it all work.  And Max is, frankly, a magi­cian. It’s real­ly fun watch­ing him make each scene flow just the way it should (and make a two-cam­era shoot look like a three-cam­era shoot). Nico­lai, the sound guy, is invis­i­ble and essen­tial, and Clement keeps every­thing mov­ing and connected.

They work togeth­er like a dance ensem­ble or a sports team: flu­ent, con­tin­u­ous hand-offs of action and respon­si­bil­i­ty, grace­ful and fric­tion­less. Because they most­ly speak French to each oth­er, and I don’t speak French (except for, now, “c’est bon!” “je suis pret” and “quoi?”), I can observe the shape of their inter­ac­tion rather than get­ting caught in the words.

And so I’m notic­ing that, like all high per­for­mance teams, they have clear goals (cre­at­ing excel­lent film that meets the clien­t’s needs), agreed-upon mea­sures (clear stan­dards of qual­i­ty and time bench­marks for each piece of film), well-defined roles (every­one clear­ly knows what each per­son on the team is respon­si­ble for doing), sim­ple process (how they oper­ate together—it’s like a well-cal­i­brat­ed machine) and high trust (it’s obvi­ous that they respect and have affec­tion for each oth­er, and feel that each per­son on the team is high­ly capa­ble and will get results).

Observ­ing a great team is real­ly fun; get­ting to work with them is even more fun. Real­iz­ing that their excel­lent prod­uct is going to be an inte­gral part of  Pro­teusLeader is the most fun. It’s so grat­i­fy­ing to have part­ners who, like us, believe that sup­port­ing peo­ple to be bet­ter man­agers and lead­ers is impor­tant, and who can help us bring to life our vision of an online learn­ing plat­form that helps peo­ple build those skills in a way that’s sim­ple, fun, and high­ly useful.

I’m so excit­ed about hav­ing all of this to share with you in October!



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