By Ed Avella
Campus Director & Dean of IT Programs

Though I could never say that high school chemistry was my favorite class, even to this day I took some very valuable lessons from it because I saw even then how similar chemical compounds existing in nature were to relationships between people.

In my chemistry class we learned about ionic and covalent bonds. Ionic bonds occur when two oppositely charged atoms are attracted to each other and combine; when two atoms share electrons in order to create a stable compound it is known as a covalent bond.

Philosophically speaking, as a manager I want my entire team to be one large covalent bond – existing as a cohesive group sharing one mission or goal. If they all own a piece of it, then I find that they have defined themselves by that whole – a collective that is not easily broken apart.

I once had a colleague that liked to refer to her workgroup as “salty.” Like their namesake, they were separately and fundamentally very dissimilar in approach or “charge,” but together their work was unmistakable and they were focused and difficult to divide. They brought their flavor to every project table, and their impact was obvious and immediate in everything they became involved.

Ok, she was a chemical engineer, and she admitted it to be nerdy “engineer speak” – but it’s pretty good, right?

What binds you, and your team? Mission, goals? Are you even bound at all?


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