In 2012 I started consulting, since then, I’ve worked alone or as part of a group. I’m generally able to determine if I am in an environment that is going to be successful in the first couple of days, based on one thing; how much they want me to work alone.
I have a versatile skill set so I am perfectly capable of working on my own.
But when I start to look at all the things I have to do for work, all the things I have to do for life and all the things I want to do, the list starts to get so overwhelming it isn’t even funny!
This isn’t a Virginia Ingram problem,
or a branding problem
or a problematic lack of focus.
We acknowledge and reward people for individual effort.* We praise people for being smart or having an idea. But it seems like we should be praising people for being a good partner. And I don’t just mean a business partner or a dating partner. I also don’t mean to imply you can get everything from one person. We have partners for just about everything we do.
When I go to the dry cleaners to drop of my clothes, the dry cleaner and I have entered into an informal partnership. It is my job to dirty up my clothes, bring them to the dry cleaners to clean, have them clean it and then pay them for their services. It’s a simple partnership, but we both have roles and expectations for the relationship. We need each other.
But, in a country of overachievers, we don’t think we really need partners.
We think we can do just about everything ourselves (if we only have the knowhow).
In fact, we often think we’re failures if we don’t do things ourselves.
This mindset makes us pile on the responsibilities and never ask anyone for help.
I have partnerships for big things (my family, my business), little things (my dry cleaners), fun things (my water sports partner) and important things (my doctor, caregivers). Having partners has helped me stay motivated, on task and focused on what needs to happen. I plan on looking for more opportunities to find partner relationships that can help me
So go for it. Get some partners. Be a partner. And try your damndest to be self-aware enough to be a good partner to someone you care about.
*I am not implying that everyone should get a trophy, instead I am suggesting that you will best serve yourself and others if you can figure out how to work with others to obtain optimal results.