The best teams I’ve ever worked on have had a peculiar vibe of “mutual awe”. When I saw what my colleagues could pull off, I was dazzled. When I pulled off something cool, THEY were dazzled.
At the same time, I think it’s tremendously valuable to be a hobbyist in the areas where your partners are experts. I’ll never be a programmer, but I’ll always dabble– it helps me know what CAN be done. I’ll never be a salesguy (though I’ve been one), but I read books on how to sell. I’ll never be a writer, but I like to read about the art/science of writing good copy.
The main reason that the post/test stuck with me was one of the characteristics of workplace assholedom is this belief:
“I could do your job better than you’re doing.”
I’ve already sung the praises of small teams, but I’ll add this to the heap. The smaller the team, the greater to potential for mutual respect and/or awe. The larger the team, the greater the likelihood that SOMEONE on the team is thinking (or even saying) that they could make better design/coding/sales/biz decisions than the person who is currently making them.
Ironically, the larger the team, the greater the likelihood that they might be right.