Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

No ‘I’ in team, a follow up from the Nurture Network Live Event 2023

No 'I' in team... even the smartest need the right team around them when times get tough

No matter how accomplished the person may be, nobody can do it alone.  That was one of the key messages from the recent Lean In, Lift Up event, put on by the Nurture Network at the British Library in London.

For Dr Samantha Tross, Consultant and Lead Orthopaedic Surgeon at Ealing Hospital, her journey from and to a stellar career began at eleven, one of the few black children at an English boarding school.

“When I wanted to go into medicine, I remember being asked, ‘Are you sure that’s a career you want to go into?’ It fed into a feeling of self-doubt, not helped by the discrimination I saw.

“And I had to deal with my own expectations – but I was helped by this internal drive that I can’t quench. I wasn’t going to be deterred by any negativity and drew on the encouragement of those around me”.

For Dr Ama Frimpong, Head of Product Development at 52 North Health, the story was similar: a girl of colour pursuing a career in engineering facing prejudice and discouragement.

“The biggest challenge was failure: having succeeded at every step of my academic career, I suddenly failed. But having people around to give you validation, pastoral support and technical help is vital. It always helps to have a reason to know why you’re doing what you’re doing – and there’s no straight line to success – there’s lots of bumps on the way.”

Both agreed having the right support network – mentors included – was vital in pushing through the tough times.

The theme was echoed in a later session with Kenny Imafidon, founder of ClearView Research and someone who has dealt with their own share of adversity, having been wrongly accused of a murder at the age of 18.

“I’ve got a great team at the company; they have a sense of ownership. And what’s really helped me is learning to be a team player,” he said. “I’m always looking for people who are better than me to help grow the business. When you have that in mind, it’s really helpful.

Getting the right team in place was also a key theme in the session titled Hatch, Match & Relax, which focused on the importance of finding the right partners to grow your business. “We make sure we’re on the same page as our investee companies,” explained panellist Scott Mackin, an Angel Investor behind fellow panellists’ Jas Schembri-Stothart’s app – luna, (set up to help teens understand health and well-being topics that aren’t always taught or talked about).

“Working with the right people around you really is the key part of a successful investment – we’ve learnt that if we can find founders with the right vision, commitment and charisma then the chances of success are much higher.”

There's More...

The Nurture Network strives to connect underrepresented people with other people of influence who can share their stories, strengthen their leadership, and pave the way while bringing  others along with them. Be the first to know about  Nurture Network Live 2024 and join us in our movement to help create a more equitable society for all.

And don’t forget you can find out more about the Nurture Network  –  email hello@thenurture-network.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter @lemonquarters.