Who is in Your Crew?

Confession time – I’ve become a bit of The Walking Dead fan. I’m not quite at the point of live Tweeting during episodes, but only because I have to PVR them. Yes, friends and I have had in-depth discussion debating the hot button topics of the show:

  • Why didn’t the walkers smell the group when they were hiding under the cars in the season 2 premiere?
  • Will poor T-Dogg ever get a decent plot line, or is he just next in line at the Walker Buffet?
  • Who would be on your Zombie apocalypse “team”?

Perusing the Wikipedia entry for the Walking Dead I was interested to learn that the man who brought the series to TV, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist), had hired three actors with whom he had previously worked with. It made me think how often that happens in film; a director tends to build a “team” of cast and crew that he likes and trusts:

The Coen Brothers

  • Roger Deakins, Cinematographer, 9 films
  • Mary Zophres, Costume Designer, 10 films
  • Frances McDormand, Actress, 6 films
  • John Goodman, Actor, 5 films
  • Steve Buscemi, 5 films

Martin Scorcese

  • Robert De Niro, Actor, 8 films
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor, 4 films (signed to an upcoming fifth)
  • Thelma Shoonmaker, Editor, 16 films

Steven Spielberg

  • John Williams, Composer, 25 films
  • Kathleen Kennedy, Producer, 10+
  • Michael Kahn, Editor, 10+

This pattern of directors choosing to work with the same talent reminded me of the NHL coaching fraternity, where coaches tend to try to acquire their “favourite” players when the get a new job in a new city. Likewise, musicians who choose to work with the same producer or engineer, or an author who has a favourite editor. All of these professionals have surrounded themselves with sublime, like-minded talent.

Have you?

Building Your Team

No business exists in a vacuum – you work with or collaborate with other people day in and day out. But, have you taken the time to build a support network around yourself of the professionals you need? Beyond just your own employees, do you have a team assembled to help you through an apocalyptic business event?

In my book, at the very least you need to have found  a:

  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • IT tech
  • Printer
  • Marketer
  • Web Designer
  • Contractor
  • Realtor
  • Financial Planner
  • Insurance Agent

These people should be trusted, respected, and preferably you’ll have a long history with them. Look at the list – can you identify gaps within your circle amongst those positions? You might think you don’t need them today, but what about tomorrow? Or two weeks from now? Better to be prepared now, and ready for what happens in the future. Maybe I’ve just watched too much Walking Dead, but in my opinion its the people who are prepared who are the most successful when things turn sour.


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2 responses to “Who is in Your Crew?

  1. Excellent post, Mike. My only concern is that your list of people can sure add to the cost of a small start-up. My own small start ups did not have a lawyer or accountant, contractor, realtor, marketer or IT tech. I played those roles and took the inherent risks.

    • Hey Grant,

      I don’t necessarily think you need to have all those people hired and on salary, but you do need to make those relationships so they are there when you need them. If a customer gets injured in your business, you want to know which lawyer to call, not open the Yellow Pages. Actually, I’m not sure you ever want to open the Yellow Pages, but that’s a whole other blog.

      If you can fill the roles yourself, so much the better. But, I would still want to have relationships with pros in my back pocket, just in case.

      Thanks for reading!

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