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The Parable of The Cake
Being a great team is like baking a cake. A great cake comes down to ingredients and what you do with them.
You’re not going to make a cake out of three different types of flour. No matter how high quality your flour is. Your team needs a mix of people who can add up to more than just the best version of one person.
You’re also not going to make a cake if you have flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and cocoa—but you don’t actually mix them together. All the right ingredients sitting in their own bowls on the counter makes a pretty Instagram picture, but that’s about it. You gotta let your group of people actually bring their different stuff and mix things up.
But even after you whip all your cake ingredients together, if you don’t put the ensuing mix in the oven and let it change state, you’re just going to have a puddle of chocolate. Possibly with salmonella.
No. To make a cake, you need ingredients, mixing, and a transformation. The ingredients need to let go of what they used to be and be willing to change into something else—something better.
In other words, making a cake is chemistry. And human chemistry is no different.
Think about that the next time you’re working on something important.