If You Want to be Successful, Choose Your Team Wisely
Senior Director in the adidas digital technology team, Samantha Jacobs, reflects on the value of having an effective team at hand, both in sport and in business.
My heart soared as I stood at the top of the mightiest mountain in Africa at 5,895 meters above sea level. I was physically exhausted from conquering the highest free-standing mountain in the world, yet I felt a boundless energy from the earth, the sky and my connection with 18 elected women from my Global MBA program at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
On top of Kilimanjaro, a cruel and majestic mountain, I now understood the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”
Getting to the top was far from a walk in the park. Both the team and the untamed environment were unfamiliar to me. I was surrounded by glaciers and the juxtaposition of Africa’s beautiful challenges. The superficiality of life slipped away as if in a dream, but the demands of the mountain were great and real.
On summit night I had an excruciating headache, the worst I have ever experienced. On summit day I could not feel my body and it was challenging to stay mentally strong and positive.
Experience and guidance are invaluable in any effective team
That’s when I recognized the value of the team around me. Our summit guide was Rebecca Stephens, the first British woman to climb the seven highest summits in the world. She taught us how mountain conditions can be managed, how it is necessary to be prepared and how to adapt to the conditions of our ever-evolving group and the mountain dynamics.
When I reflect on that climb now and on the lessons I learned playing tennis with my dad and later alongside my long-time childhood friend it’s clear that having a strong support team makes us all winners.
Make sure your foundations are strong
Today I’m a member of the digital technology team at adidas where the success of one employee is the success of all.
This starts with the stability to be progressive knowing that reaching the highest heights starts with the strongest foundation.
A building constructed on vision alone may rise quickly but can topple easily. A company with a strong platform like a building will be tall, strong and stable, today and always. adidas is a company built for today and ready for tomorrow thanks to its strong foundations and the effective teams that have developed throughout its 70+ year history.
It has deep roots in sports and fashion and thrives by blending a well-established business acumen with the ability to adapt to our ever-changing digital medium.
I see our Digital technology group like a great doubles team, as well as like a collection of expert climbers coordinated, synergistic and ready to summit the challenges ahead with vision, sustainability, and inclusion.
Effective teams are always evolving
Our new 5-year strategy “Own the Game” recognizes our strategic shift in technology, “from being a service provider to being a core competency and value driver.” Our Digital culture is based on business and technology partnership, expertise, and innovation to maximize value for consumers’ experiences that are built sustainably to balance sales and technical objectives. Our product-led framework enables agile software development and flexibility to seamlessly adapt our delivery to unforeseen obstacles.
Alongside our clear business goals our culture is optimistic, and I’m surrounded by peers who believe in themselves and each other. We are encouraged to share our ideas and together our support teams grow stronger.
It’s so important to feel valued and respected for who you are and have confidence in your company and team’s values.
So, what’s next as I continue to build my career and help adidas to be the best sports and digitally savvy brand in the world? I feel our team is never complete. There’s always another skill, character, and diversity of thought that can be of benefit to our team as we drive to deliver innovative products and experiences for our athletes and consumers.
If you’re interested in joining us, click on the adidas Careers page below to find out more about the open roles and how you can support us to reach the next summit!