Regardless of the task at hand, the people you work with make all the difference. But when the task at hand is your own take on world domination, a crack team of highly skilled commandos is the difference between limping to the finish line and a ticker tape parade down 5th Ave.
This March, at SXSW, Rei Inamoto, the chief creative officer for AKQA, shared a nugget of wisdom that I’ve observed to be true: “To run an efficient team, you only need three people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler.” When I look at the better teams I’ve been a part of, this has absolutely proven to be true.
The Hipster: Usually working their way into the mix as the designer or creative genius, they’ll make sure the final product is cooler than anything else out there. But, not only that, they’ll ensure the shade of blue used to accent the font really brings out the subtle homage to an artist from the ’70’s you’ve probably never heard of.
The Hacker: The one most likely to sit quietly through a board meeting until uttering the three sentences that answers the all important question of “how?” the new idea or initiative can be brought into reality. Resembling MacGyver with their ability to wield various lines of code or programing languages, you’ll get dizzy trying to keep up with their keystrokes.
The Hustler: They have the tendency to be the most misunderstood member of this trio. The Hipster is likely to accuse the Hustler of having sold out to the man because of their constant question of “It’s cool, but is it something our partners and clients want?” The Hacker is likely to do their best to avoid one on one conversations with the Hustler as a result of jock vs. geek episode back in high school.
But, when the Hipster brings the creative design and cool factor, the Hacker brings their utility belt of technology solutions, and the Hustler finds the right way to package it all up and take it to the masses in the form of sales and partnerships, it is a combination that is tough to beat.
The only question is, does your team have all three?
For more thoughts on being the Hustler on a team and the art and science that goes into doing it well, you can follow me on Twitter: @andyellwood
By Andy Ellwood / Contributor: I write about the art and the science of hustle. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
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