I am currently sitting in a Dunkin Donuts drinking my usual drink and observing the people that stroll in and out of the business. I am just wasting some time between meetings and enjoying some relaxing time. Normally this is not where I would sit to write a leadership blog but something happened that I wanted to share.

Out of nowhere I was asked how someone could become part of my team. Now, at first, I laughed it off and tried to move the conversation to something trivial like the weather and the Christmas song that is playing. However, the person that I was speaking with brought it up again. The exact quote was “I am serious, I want to be part of your team. What do I have to do to join?” They then said, “I could be the missing part of the puzzle that makes the team great.” That question quickly taught me two lessons.

First, I did not know what to say. I was humbled and speechless. I thought that the best way to build a team was to go out and search for team members. I never thought that potential team members would seek me out to join. And the worst part of the “not knowing what to say” was that I did not have a plan on how to join my team. I had never imagined that I would be faced with a question like that.

To let you know how I answered, in case you ever find yourself in the same situation. I asked if we could set up a time in the next week to discuss the path to being part of the team. I also left the person with two questions of my own. First, why would they want to join the team and, what would they bring to the team that would help us to be better than we are right now. We set up a time, and I will try and keep you informed on how that turns out.

The next lesson brought me a little joy. The team they were referring to deals with helping others. They had recognized the value of the team and also investigated to find out about my leadership. This led them to take action and want to join in with what we are doing. As a leader, I felt validated and proud of the reputation that our team had built outside of our established goals. This led me to think about how outsiders are watching as we lead our teams.

This week’s experiment deals with those outside of your team. Is your team one of those that others would ask to join? And, if someone came up to you and asked to be a part of your team, do you have a plan on how to get them to be a part? Could they be the missing piece of the puzzle that makes your team great?