- On August 7, 2018
“Teamwork makes the Dream Work”
— John C. Maxwell
How often do you try to ‘go it alone’?
For many of us, we got to a position of responsibility by (at least looking like we…) have our act together. That we are the solution to all problems.
Barbell squats was my painful reminder that my own streak of independence and go-it-aloneness can actually sabotage my success.
I was struggling with the position of the weighted bar due to a shoulder injury, powering through the discomfort. Sam, my ‘awesome sauce’ trainer at StarFit , tapped me on the back and handed me two dumbbells. He showed me a different position that was just as effective for the target muscles and didn’t put the strain on my shoulder.
I thanked him for noticing I really needed some help. “Team work makes your dream work,” Sam replied, with his typical exuberance.
It can feel exhilarating to be the ‘lone ranger’ making things happen on sheer guts and willpower.
And it can also feel overwhelming. The bar of what you feel like you can take on moves higher and higher, and you are expected by others—and yourself–to figure it out and make it happen.
In my coaching, I work with many managers who feel like they must be the ‘answer man (or woman)’. Especially as they rise in responsibility, beyond the point where technical expertise can see them through.
There is often an underlying fear or anxiety that they may not have all the answers after they’ve spent years cultivating their credibility. And that feeling can hold them back from exploring new ways of engaging and growing. They want to retreat into their comfort zone of expertise, to go it alone with what they know. Often to the detriment of their team’s performance.
Sometimes I forget a hard lesson I learned long ago in the Army–I need a team to be most effective. As a young captain I made a key decision without consulting the rest of my leadership team — and almost wound up with a revolt on my hands. After that, I learned to ask those who know. The final decision still rested with me, but it was almost always a much more successful course of action by having others take part.
As a small business owner, I find that countless times I try to power through the challenge, often wasting time and effort and probably not producing the most optimal solution. What if I had just asked for help? Asked, “who knows someone who is really good at X?”
Who in your life lifts you mentally, spiritually, physically when you are feeling the strain and trying to power through it yourself?
Today, I’m feeling grateful for the people on my team:
For Sam, my fitness trainer at StarFit.
For Paula, my Virtual Assistant at Your Alter Egos.
For Denise, my business coach.
For the team at Grounded Coffee Shop (my writing space) who brightened my day with a smiley face in the foam on my morning latte.
Who do you need on your team to be even more effective?