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There is no "I" in Team


(Also, Where Amanda uses Red Sage as a Model to Explain Football to Dragon Lady)

I come from a college football town. (OK, I really come from a town where every single boy in my class had to play football to have a team, but I lived in, and went to college in, a college football town.) Badger fans take their football seriously – or so I thought until I moved to the South.

As one of the two non-Southerners on staff, I LOVE to ask the question in our group interviews, “Alabama or Auburn?” My co-workers cringe every time, as that question is almost in the category of “questions you cannot legally ask in an interview” in this state. Personally, I think the answer is almost always very telling of someone’s level of honesty – and how well they are going to work in an office of mixed allegiances.

With football season upon us, it seems like the perfect time to write about how football influences us here at Red Sage. And while I could easily be referring to how proud Ellen gets every time she makes a (usually-incorrect) football reference, how Kelli is decked out in crimson and houndstooth every Friday for four months, and how Heather and I refuse to attend “big” games with our significant others, I am really referring to the “there is no ‘I’ in team” philosophy.

Dan and Ellen are always coaching, making necessary substitutions, and pulling staff off the bench if need be. And Kelli is off recruiting new games for us to play.

The role of Quarterback most often falls to one of us Marketing Coordinators (Heather, Katie, and myself), but, depending on the project and scope of work we are performing for a particular client, anyone on staff can play the role of Quarterback. Sometimes the QB even changes between plays on a project.

Once we have called the upcoming play for the project, we pass to an open receiver. If this is a design project, it is goes to Mark or Lauren. If it is a web project, it goes to Teresa or Lauren. (Lauren plays special teams, too!) Sometimes they take the project straight in for a touchdown; sometimes we have to use a couple of downs to get there.

If someone fumbles on a play, we do not spend time criticizing that person, but making sure we recover the ball, because if any person on the team falters, a project can be delayed or a deadline can be missed. And no one likes getting a delay of game flag thrown!

This is why clear communication and teamwork is so important on every project. We huddle up twice a week no matter what, and more often if needed. You have probably also heard us talk about doing retreats once a year: it helps with team-building morale, of course, and lets us examine what we are doing well, and where we need to spend more time practicing.

Like any team, there is sometimes in-fighting, but by the next game day we are usually over it. The best part about playing on Team Red Sage is that win or lose, we play together. We each have strengths and weaknesses, and use our practice time to hone our skills. We collaborate to make sure the finished product our customer gets is the finished product of a championship level team.

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