I have worked with people who are always kind, always reliable, always creatively excellent. But not many. Maybe five. Certainly less than 10.
I have also worked with people on the other end of the spectrum. Full-scale hacks lying and stabbing their way through their lives. But only a couple.
One of the people in the former category decided to eject from the industry recently. His departure probably doesn't qualify as a blow, but it is kind of a bummer.
It got me thinking. I've worked with hundreds - maybe thousands - of people. Only a dozen of them lie at either end of the spectrum. Which means my career has been defined by the huge mass of people in the middle. Good people who are just trying to live their lives, take care of their families, do their jobs, and have a little fun along the way. People who are occasionally lazy. Sometimes irrational. At times belligerent. Open to the infrequent dishonesty.
You know. Humans.
Working with excellence is easy. Just throw it the ball and get out of its way. Working with awfulness is also easy. Run. Fire, if you can.
But working with humans, absorbing their failures, celebrating their wins, and forgiving their imperfections - that's hard. It is an evolving, inconsistent and subjective process. It guarantees that I, too, will fail. And need celebration. And forgiveness. Lots and lots of it.