What the legacy project has taught me about teamwork

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We’re in our final week of class, and our legacy project is incredibly close to being finished. The website is awaiting the last couple of elements before it is ready to go, and everyone is hard at work making it come together during these last few days of the semester. The project has been a lot of work, but it’s also been a treasure trove of lessons for me. I’ve learned a lot, in particular, about teamwork. Here are a few of the lessons the legacy project has taught me.

  • Some people are leaders; others are followers. And that’s OK. In fact, for a team to work well, it’s not possible for everyone to be a leader. Some people, the leaders, work best by delegating tasks — these are the big-picture people who have a vision and know how best to organize everyone in a way that makes sense. Other people, the followers, work best by being asked to do things. These people are no less important to the success of the project than those who are telling them what their tasks are. They are the ones who provide the pieces of the puzzle to make the end result come together.
  • Sometimes, people have to cover for others. If someone is unable to pull his or her weight, for any reason, other members of the team have to jump in and fill that gap, or else the project will fall apart. There are a few people whom I’ve seen take on a huge share of work on this project — and the reason they do it is because they believe in the project’s success. Teamwork doesn’t necessarily mean sharing the load evenly; sometimes it means being willing to pick up where others leave off.
  • Everyone has something to bring to the table. Our group is incredibly diverse. We have reporters, designers, photographers, videographers, producers, PR experts and more. We’re a tiny newsroom in our own right. And that, ultimately, is why I believe this project will be a success. We have all our bases covered, from a multimedia standpoint, and I believe the diversity in our group will be reflected in the completeness of our website.

I’ve loved working with all of you this semester, on this project and on others we’ve done. This class has been one of the most unique experiences I’ve had at the Cronkite School, and I just want to say thank you, all of you, for making it so enjoyable.