I was working out in my garage and from the 6’x 8’ foam floor mat I found myself staring up at the squat rack that makes up 90% of our small home gym. I can’t believe I put that beast together, I thought. I’m pretty badass. Then I remembered the cold January morning I spent in the garage laying out the parts and staring at the directions, while my boyfriend screwed the pieces together in the fashion I directed. All of a sudden I wondered, did he technically build that rack? He used the power tools to secure the parts, but I executed the instructions, bringing methodology to the project that otherwise would not have led us to the final product. Who really built it, and does it matter?
Seldom is something truly the effect of our own individual actions. Strategies and tactics. Ideas and execution. Leaders and followers. These must exist in tandem to build businesses, and it takes multiple people and various configurations of pieces to produce the end result. It takes leadership, delegation and communication. It takes following, faith and failure … sometimes in repeated sequence. We’re just one piece of the puzzle, and we tend to forget this when we’ve worked hard to put our stake in the ground, to contribute and to be recognized. I have a great idea and enlist others to put it into action, and I want the credit for brilliance. It was my idea after all. Or perhaps you had an idea but I ran with it, busting my butt and putting my blood, sweat and tears into making it happen. That happened because of me.
Winemakers can’t continue to make wine unless salespeople sell it, and sales can’t find momentum without consumers driven to your brand by marketing. And who makes sure all these pieces are moving on time and to budget? CEOs, general managers, finance people, compliance people, inventory and fulfillment people. It truly takes a village and it’s hard to argue that one department is more or less important, deserves more or less money in their budget or labor on their team. It's not about me, it's about we.
#TakeAction – The next time you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or deserving, stop and thank a colleague. The next time you receive a compliment for a job well done, mention the work of someone who contributed to make it possible. You can’t do what you do without them. Without them, there is no tomorrow.