Everyone talks about mission and values in the workplace. But I often think that if your team gets along well, what you're working on might not matter much. This mission that everyone talks about is like a carrot dangled in front of you to keep you from hating your job. It's the company's attempt to replace religion by taking up more space and trying to give us a sense of higher purpose.

Honestly, when I look back on my work experiences, it's not the problems I solved or the technology I used that I remember. It's the fun, the laughter, and the connections I made with my colleagues. People crave social connections. We're social creatures. These feelings really give you an edge, not only in your personal life, but also in getting through the inevitable work setbacks.

Two occasions from my past come to mind, each with its own dynamic. Each is due to different reasons that I can rationalize. In the first, the leader surrounded himself with friends. He almost hired whoever could contribute the most to the team's attitude. His enthusiasm was contagious. The team stayed positive and thrived in that atmosphere, whether we succeeded or not. Maybe it was just luck, maybe we were just the first people he found. I never asked.

On the second occasion, the team was like a diamond formed under pressure. We bonded over shared challenges, watching each other's backs. There was no room for enemies or office politics. Tired and working late, we'd cheer each other on for another hour.

Outside of work, time spent together counts. But what makes a team feel so good? It's a mystery to me, like the Coca-Cola formula. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

Years later, I keep in touch with those colleagues. I really want to know how they are doing and root for their success. But most of all, I just want another drink...