There is a residual material that appears when welding; it is called slag by those of the trade. This waste matter is a combination of oxidized metals and silicon dioxide that usually rises to the top of a molten vat of liquid as part of the purifying process of different types of ores, such as iron, copper, nickel, and lead.

In the case of welding, slag is a byproduct that occurs as flux is used to bind to pieces of metal together. Within the process of merging the two metal (iron in this scenario) plates, a pool of molten materials manifests. As the pool cools, there is a deposit, the bead, which is the bond itself, and the other material is the slag.

On completion of the bond, the slag is either chipped or ground away to reveal the shiny bead. At this point, because it is a blend of the two plates, the bead is stronger than the plates. The original plates, when placed under pressure, will falter, crack, and break before the welded area. It is the extreme heat and removal of impurities that creates this strength.

The creation of a strong partnership and team requires each member to remove their own slag to make the team bond stronger. It is important that every person brings their best abilities, which are talents unknown to the group. To achieve the ultimate results in a project, it is important to recognize what is slag and what is an attribute that can produce the best outcome. As you consider the negative connotations connected with ego, pride, or being nit-picky and opinionated, you might be surprised that these traits can be attributes that help the team, if utilized correctly.

Having an “ego” is often in reference to a person that is full of self-importance and therefore detrimental to a team because of their inability to see their own weaknesses. Yet, for a team to function, the participants need to be able to have a positive ego and believe they are capable of their talent. Knowing that you are qualified and able to accomplish a task with great success because of past experiences is important to the team so that they can envision possibilities.

Pride is sometimes confused with ego as well as taken as a negative implication associated with a person’s personality. It is true that an individual’s lack of humility can tarnish the team’s enthusiasm for a project. Yet, pride in doing the best work possible is an essential component in performing an assignment. As each person takes satisfaction in performing at their peak capacity, the team and project reflect the efficiency of the group.

Being “nit-picky” may frustrate team members if it prolongs an assignment. However, having an eye for detail in aviation is very important because it leads directly to safety. Intense quality control saves lives. In some situations, a checklist isn’t enough. Whatever the project or assignment, in-depth inspections are a vital part of the process.

Opinionated people can be burdensome, but they are better than a person who does not have the confidence to speak their mind to benefit the work that has to be done. Life experiences, education, and wisdom are crucial to the investigation of new ideas and invention of cutting-edge concepts. These assets can save time and money as synchronicity takes place among the team.

If an excess of any attribute manifests, it’s advisable to chip away at the slag to remove the impurities, maintaining the “iron” of the team. Just remember not to grind too deep, which could weaken the integrity of the individual or team, thereby destroying the project or assignment.

Removing detrimental slag with the goal of refinement in mind is part of being more in your life.