Teamwork and Trust

Abhishek Lahoti
3 min readMay 19, 2023

Kids take a lot of care and effort. It’s a very obvious statement, but take a moment and read that sentence again and let it marinate. What do you really get to effortfully care for in life, besides yourself? What could take more time than you have to spare in order to simply survive? Now that I’m back in the office more often, I find myself thinking often about the level of effort caring for another human can take.

Let’s back up for a moment, to the beginning of my daughter’s life. Those glorious few weeks of parental leave were the only time where I had few distractions when it came to childcare. Sure, there were chores to complete, but it wasn’t unusual to drop everything to help the smallest person in the room with their tummy time skills. We had that freedom.

I worked with my wife Lauren to understand what our daughter wanted. We built habits. We learned skills. We honed our parental craft. Then, I went back to work. And my wife stepped into the solo caregiver role. Sometimes I get the privilege of taking care of the baby alone, but the majority of her growth and development sit on my partner’s shoulders. It’s up to her to fill the space that two parents filled in the early stages of our kid’s life.

I can wax poetic about the unfairness of this all, and how I wish we could’ve work together as a team for longer, but that’s a post for another time. What I realised, in those first few weeks of being away, was that I had to learn a new type of trust. Trust that my teammate could do the job without me. Trust that everything we had learned and created would be maintained, nurtured and grown with 50% less workforce.

I got immensely lucky that my wife is 100x better than me at everything, so I didn’t need to worry (but I did). But the concept of trust triggered my creative brain into writing this piece. So much of what we do in life is a team effort, but how often can we trust that our teams can do the job without us? It’s a regular cliché in sports, but more common is the experience we have with work.

How many of us have had that one micromanaging experience because someone didn’t trust that we could do the job alone? How many could leave work for a week and not stress about the wheels coming off? How often do you check in while away and begrudge any major decisions made without you? Trust is hard, because we take it for granted until it’s tested. Trust means another group can do your job, and that challenges our self-worth.

Work and life closely align here. As I returned to work, I had to relinquish control of my child’s life and trust my teammate. I had to let someone do the job without me, and realise I’d have to play catch up later on. But I learned to swallow that pill and look towards the greater goal. I learned that in trusting my teammate, they became better, and ultimately started to teach me how to be better. The teammate roles evolved, as they should, into a stronger relationship.

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Enough has changed with my daughter since I ended parental leave that now I need to be brought up to speed on her behaviours and tendencies. I try to find the fun in that. I recently got to spend 2 weeks with her whilst off work and the person she’s growing into brought a smile to my face every morning. I do hope that she trusts us just as much as we trust each other, even if we’re still figuring out everything as we go.

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Abhishek Lahoti

Head of Platform @ Highland Europe, advisor of startups, new father, and perpetual confused person trying to make sense of life