We're all part of a team, whether its a family unit or an office space. When it comes to creativity, our networks are really important for getting the most out of your ideas. By sharing the load and putting trust in willing people, our ideas can grow on the back of many other ideas that compliment them. A network of connective shared responsibility gives rise to extremely strong foundations. How can we make the most out of our teams and networks though? It's not a matter of giving instructions, no-one made you the regent, we have to lead with equality, empathy, and care.
Don't Get In The Way
There's a big difference between leading and telling. When you tell a person you're taking their time and space, their focus is on you. You're in their way. Also, when we feel watched it can be quite disconcerting. When someone is watching our efforts over our shoulder we tend to feel caged in. Micromanaging everyone and their time will only result in problems with very little innovation. People in your network will stop wanting to put energy into your ideas and prefer to work on their own.
Get To Know People Properly
The people that come into your circle and show an interest in your direction and journey are not just tools for your progress. These people are your friends, colleagues, and competitors. It's important to realise that everyone is the most concerned with their own agenda. We have to understand and appreciate the desires, needs, and comforts of the people who are around us. Get to know them, bond with them, create proper working relationships. What about the competitors though? You might want to ask. You are not superhuman and cannot possibly serve the world all by yourself. If you understand what else is on offer it can help you make choices about providing something people will still want. Working together like proper adults always gets a better result.
Get Everyone On The Same Page
The communication has to be consistent, so that everyone in your circle knows exactly what you want from them and what they can expect from you. The general message has to be the same across the whole table, with personalised tools of understanding used only when in face to face interactions. We all have to be pointing in the same direction, like running a magnet across a piece of iron, we can get the atoms to all face the same way making it magnetic itself.
You're Not The Star You're A Planet
The star is the betterment and contentment of humanity, we orbit that star because we choose to. If you want to liken yourself to an astral body then the planets and moons make more sense. It's true that sociology talks about orbits and areas of influence like gravity and light, so the metaphor does work. We take our journey into creativity and innovation because our minds take to it like a monkey to a tree. We can't expect other people to orbit us unless we pay them, so be aware that it is the same goal that drives our networks to stick together, not you.
Listen with your mind open and your internal dialogue silent when people are talking to you. Then think and respond without judgement. Make amends when necessary and point out mistakes when they're so far unseen. We all make them, my typo average is around 5 per 1000 words. If I forget to check, I pay the price. Make sure everyone feels safe to talk about mistakes, failures, changed minds, and opposing views. Everything has to feel safe to talk about.
Your Team Is An Individual
We get to know people personally quite naturally but our team is an organism on its own. It has its own strengths and weaknesses, it has its limitations. Our team will have a distinctive personality that it quite separate to those of the people in it. People find cosy niches of being when on their own but when working for something they can completely change, finding it more comfortable to behave differently when in a professional or high-input setting. We have to be able to recognise our team as a working body that behaves in its own way.
Work Harder Than You'd Ask Others To
It's your big idea, your direction, and your progress that you are most concerned about. This means that you have to do the work. The people around you can prop you up, lend a hand, tie things together with their own project thus lifting both, maybe even volunteer for you, but it's you that has to do the lion's work. If you are serious about getting other people as equally enthusiastic and passionate as you about your idea, you have to pay them.
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