Our world is in peril. I wanted to play my part to help combat this so, at the ripe age of 23, I summoned my inner Captain Planet and set out to launch a social platform, LifeKraze, that would reward people for taking action and ultimately change the world for the better. To make LifeKraze a reality, I dialed up the tall order of raising over a million dollars, creating a product, and building a team. The most important of these (while I was unaware at the time) was building the right team. Here’s what Captain Planet and the Planeteers taught me about great teams.

Diversify your team

The Planeteers are about as diverse as you can get. They have different powers, cultures, and personalities. While the Planeteers don’t see eye to eye all the time, their differences give the team the balance necessary to defeat various eco-villians (my personal favorite Duke Nukem).

My team is made up of ten people right now. We’re not each from a different country and we don’t have super powers (that we can speak of) but we all bring a unique approach and special skill sets to the team. This helps us to see things from multiple perspectives and rely on each other to operate efficiently. Diversity of thought and skill is critical for a team’s success.

Lean on your team

Let’s be honest Captain Planet has powers that make Superman jealous but his Kryptonite (any type of pollution) is far more plentiful than the green space rock. He relies on his Planeteers to come to his rescue at times. The Planeteers are also responsible for taking care of duties without Captain Planet.

At LifeKraze I don’t make every decision, I don’t handle every project, and I’m not the best option for everything that comes our way. I love having capable teammates that are better than me in certain areas because collectively it makes us a better team. Strong leaders surround themselves with the best.

Empower your team

The iconic parting phrase of Captain Planet ”The power is yours!” returns special abilities to the Planeteers but is also a message to all Planeteers implying their task and ability to protect the environment. Captain Planet has extraordinary abilities but his greatest power is Planeteers.

I don’t have an iconic parting phrase but a major part of my role as the CEO of LifeKraze is to empower my teammates. I can’t give them the power of wind or fire but I can find ways that help my teammates enjoy their work and be more effective. Empower individuals in a way that leads to collective success.

I love my team and I’m proud that together we turned an idea into a celebrated community of 20,000 plus that’s motivating and rewarding thousands every day…and we’re just getting started.

You can’t be earth’s greatest company without building the world’s greatest team.

Ben Wagner

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