it would seem a giant compliment to be called a “glue person”.
glue people are those “who pull teams together to make them greater than the sum of their parts” (linkedin.com). like the tabs and pockets of an interlocking jigsaw puzzle, glue people are the ones who quietly and efficiently make it all happen. they are not front-of-stage necessarily. they are not leadership-paid necessarily. they are not lauded or recognized necessarily. but they are absolutely and without-a-doubt essential; they are the actual anchors.
in my own life and work experience, the glue people are those people who hold up the pillars that hold up the organization. they work at making the goals, the mission, come to fruition. they take a back seat to those in charge but actually are at the crux, shoring up, growing, bringing life and light to the place, lifting others, magic-wanding the whims of the leaders, building community among the members of the institution. they are simply the glue that holds it all together.
i suppose there are those people who are wary of glue people. they feel threatened by the glue-success; they suffer insecurity. instead of rallying behind gluepeople, these types will undermine them, speak hostility toward them, diminish their role in the organization, get rid of them.
and the walls will come a’tumblin’ down.
because, like this simple wooden trainset that my little boy loved playing with – that is now in the possession of the cutest little boy in florida – our little great-nephew – the interlocking of all is what holds it together.
without the glue all hell can break loose, and often does.
and sadly, it’s because someone could not recognize a glue person when they had one. someone did not value their glue.