How to make a dream team

flickr: international fiber collective

The festival is the ultimate party. So it made sense when the idea sparked at a bonfire party at my house that as a party maven, I ought to take it on. The fact that no one else had done this before (here) was practically unbelievable to me, even now. All over town (and now the country) I started telling the story, asking questions, and getting referrals.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

#1 It’s who you know

It was humbling to discover how many people I did know through other people, that everyone in the world could be available to me, and that I would just have to do the work to get a hold of them to get this show on the road.

What has taken the most time is dividing the people fit for the job from those that are not. Especially when the job itself is undefined. Enter the advice of lots of people who have experience in the festival and music industry.

The Seven Sounds team is comprised of members from all over the country: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, New York, and Tennessee.

#2 Be a good person

Creating and maintaining relationships is the most important thing in the world. I present the Seven Sounds vision and qualify people every single day. I’m looking for people that have the same beliefs, which means that I sometimes turn away people with experience. Some motivations can run counter to the Seven Sounds vision and it is my primary job to protect the vision at all costs.

Once I have commitments and agreements in place, I maintain relationships by making myself available to connect with individuals regularly for the purpose of understanding what they care about so I may map them to exactly that and check-in as things may have changed.

Identifying best-fit coverage for holes in the operation plan on an on-going basis provides for a well-run production. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that? 🙂

#3 Always make decisions

The two failures I’ve identified are: 1) not making a decision and 2) not doing the work. Wise idioms to lead by: Do or do not, there is no try. Piss or get off the pot. Cut the mustard.

The hardest decision to make as a leader is when to step aside and let others lead. Great leaders understand that the best solutions are bigger than one person’s way, that it’s not about them, and that a dream team provides a mutuality and reciprocity one can trust to bring the thing to fruition beyond any one members’ wildest dreams.

How do you make the team of your dreams? When was the last time you were a part of one and what features made it so?


“Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” -John Maxwell

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