Friday, July 21, 2006

Thoughts on Teamwork

Yes, I'm one of those stupid people who are too lazy to change the channel when a reality show comes on. That's how I got roped in to Project Runway last season. And I actually enjoyed it, which is why I'm now watching season 3. This week's challenge was for the designers to come up with a dress for Miss USA to wear at the Miss Universe pageant. Mega-huge deal for wanna-be designers, right? So they all showed her their sketches and made their pitches, and Miss USA picked 7 designs to actually hit the runway. Those 7 designers were then paired with the 7 who were not chosen and had to work as teams to execute their designs.

That's where the drama for this episode was born. One team was incredibly dysfunctional - Vincent and Angela. It was his design that was moving forward. And she thought it was all wrong. But here's where I, evidently, diverge from the judges and pretty much everyone else (according to their text-in vote). Yes, as a member of the team, Angela should have put aside her feelings about the design and got down to making it runway-ready. But what I saw in the episode was Vincent telling her to basically go away and let him do it. She was suffocating his muse or some such nonsense. And he kept reminding her (rather rudely, at times) that HE was the team leader.

If the members of a team are going to work together to accomplish a goal, the team leader must be willing to let them work! Otherwise, the team leader is the one stuck doing all the work, and resenting the other team members for not helping - when it was his own fault in the first place. Teamwork is a two-way street. I cannot follow the leader if the leader ties me to a pole.

What really got me about the episode was that when Vincent had to defend his work on the runway, he blamed Angela for everything - when, in the course of the entire hour-long episode, I saw nothing to even suggest he had given her any opportunity to help him. But was he called out for his poor leadership? No. She was called out for not being a team player. That's just sorry.

1 comment:

TM520 said...

Speaking as a designer, I can attest to the fact that we're typically not team players; I know I'm not. I far prefer to work alone, to work on my own concepts without outside interference, unrealistic may that concept be. When you're forced to team-up on a project, you eventually must "agree to disagree" on a design, and for good reason, since your client is likely going to edit the whole thing to ribbons anyway.