Lessons learned: Team building and Authenticity
“Never looking back, or too far in front of me, the present is a gift, and I just want to be.” – Common
Moving from Los Angeles to the Bay to work for Google has been THE most exciting experience of my career to date. On my first day, hearing the orientation leader say, “Oh you’re on Marvin’s team? You’re lucky!” only added to my elation.
As Founder of Google’s first diversity focused sourcing task force, Marvin Stickel built the most diverse team I’ve ever been a part of. His intuition, transparency and sacrifice both blended and bonded a team of around 15 people. He created a space that allowed each of us to be authentic while unifying us around a common vision. As a player-coach, Marvin consistently set clear goals, held us accountable, and led by example.
What I remember most were our weekly team meetings. There was always a fun game, interesting icebreaker question or some other activity to bond us closer together. We celebrated our individual and collective wins regularly, and were honest about our struggles. Although there were unique bonds forming within our larger group, Marvin made sure everyone’s voice was valued and heard.
Working with Marvin taught me the importance of letting my authentic self be reflected in all I do as a leader. Marvin had a special way of being vulnerable, open, and hands-on, with a seemingly endless reservoir of energy to encourage and support us all.
When I reflect on Marvin’s leadership style, it serves as a constant reminder that I don’t have to take myself so seriously. I don’t have to know all the answers, or the best techniques to handle every possible situation. All I have to do is show up, fully present, and willing to listen/learn.