I am good at a lot of things when it comes to my career. I’m good at developing adaptive processes, managing people, and organizing activities. That said, I’m not good at creating formal, strict processes, working alone, visual design, or operational task management. I can’t begin to tell you how powerful it is to finally figured out that I don’t have to be good at All The Things. That’s why I always work in a team!
tl;dr – it’s ok not to be good at all the things when you surround yourself with partners and teams that are good at (and enjoy!) the things you’re not.
So, where did this amazingly obvious revelation come from? It came from an opportunity to work with my friend and fellow freelancer Laura Paglione on a new project. I’ll share more on that project in a bit; the relevant part here, though, is around how Laura calmed me down. I was having a minor freak out about moving from organizing the project behind the scenes to turning the project into a real-world, in-person, OMG-people-will-be-physically-present event.
I said to her, “I’m good at the organizing and planning. It’s the execution I’m freaking out about.” Her response? “Execution is definitely my jam.” Pause for a moment as I smack my head on the desk a few times at missing the obvious. I knew that if anyone could help turn this crazy idea into a better reality than I can imagine, it’s Laura!
This revelation is more than just a “Laura is awesome” moment (though she absolutely is; if you get a chance to work with her, you should take it). It’s also a bit of “and I am not too shabby either” because I’m the one that invited her into my idea. I recognized my strengths and weaknesses and found a partner that could balance the work.
And that’s the trick to feeling proud of what I can do – I can organize and identify the right people to make a project amaaaaazing. I build up strong teams because I need those teams to do my best work. My suggestion to you is, if you haven’t had time to sit yourself down with a beverage of your choice for some thinking time, do that. Think about what you’re really good at and what you should look for in partners or teammates to complete the puzzle that is your work, project, or life. Then invite those people to a videoconference social call and drink that beverage with them. Between you, you will be able to make plans to take over the world.