The question of “who” keeps coming up as important.
I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over “what” – what do I want to do? What do I want to be known for? What do I want to spend my time on? What should I get good at?
But I’ve realized (far later in life than I ought to) that “who” should often come before “what” in the order of operations.
Who do I want to work with? Who do I know that elevates the game? Who do I combine with to make something great?
If you know someone you want to work with, it helps you narrow your field of targets.
WHO do I want to spend my time with?
It’s not putting the cart before the horse if you’re thinking about “what can be done really well with this team.” It’s an act of looking at your horse and thinking about what cart it’s best suited to pull.
Who do I want to be connected with, personally, professionally, casually…?
Conversely, if you have a great idea, but your current team isn’t the one to do it, you either need a new team, or a new idea. Or you need to build in the time for your team to learn how it can execute this new idea – but in most creative work, that time isn’t readily available.
Who do I want to be? Not what, but WHO? Who pulls me towards that best, most mature version of myself?