Are you an island?
John Donne said that none of us are, but sometimes we try to be – pretending we are more capable if we complete the project, engage a prospect, or accomplish a task ourselves. We may also think that we are sparing others when we don’t ask for their help when, in fact, they may make the project go more smoothly.
I struggle with this, too, but find that the time I save when working with my team allows me to utilize my strengths to help others, too! When we work together, we capitalize on the unique skill sets and strengths of all our team members.
At ConvergenceCoaching, we teach a process for defining ownership for the key functional areas within a firm – departments such as human resources, marketing, IT, and accounting, initiatives or service lines like audit and tax, and also locations or divisions when applicable. We believe that true empowerment and accountability come only when each “thing” in your firm is owned by one true owner. Your goal is to establish owners by skill set, the individual’s level, their bandwidth, and their ability to really drive that area forward.
One of the pitfalls of this process is the temptation to allow one person to own too much as this is often a sign that others are not being developed around them and increases a firm’s fragility. If you own too much, you can start to alleviate the pressure by considering the solution of teamwork and assigning some of your tasks to others.
I recently managed the design of our firm’s holiday e-card.The e-card begins, “When working together, the impossible becomes possible!” I used elves in the greeting because they conjure up the ultimate teamwork image for me.In reality, I was thinking of our own ConvergenceCoaching team and how, when we work together and “divvy up” projects according to our individual strengths, we are infinitely more efficient and get an incredible (even seemingly “impossible”) amount done.Each of us has a specific part in completing projects that would be a nightmare for just one person!
There are many projects that would be overwhelming without the assistance of others. Where can you use the help of your team members (or even your family with personal projects and “work-to-do”)?Is there anything you are hoarding because of pride (I can do it myself/I can do it better myself), greed (I could bill all the time on this project if I don’t bring in a team mate), altruism (they are all too busy to help me), or some other reason? Someone on your team may be better suited or have more bandwidth for portions of your list, which benefits you, your firm, and your clients, too.
As you embark on the new year, and what is for many who read this blog the highest volume time of year, consider your daily and weekly work-to-do lists and make a conscious effort to use the assistance of your team mates with certain tasks, portions of projects, and even whole projects. Drop your pride, greed, altruism, or concerns that you may be too busy to delegate and involve others in your work. The results will provide real relief and may amaze you, too.
So, where will you look to use teamwork to help yourself and/or your firm this month? Post a comment and share your ideas!