Woodrow Wilson said, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.” Woodrow is right. The idea that we are better together and that interdependence beats independence every time is the next best step in Making The Most Of A Year. When you are clear on your destination and you are willing to be fully responsible for the results you achieve you are perfectly placed to build a dream team that can serve your future and who you can serve.
Ancient wisdom says that, “Iron sharpens iron” and that process of connection, friction, pushing backwards and forwards is one of the ways we stay sharp, alert and on task. Collaboration is the belief that we really IS better than me.
Why is collaboration better than independence? Here’s why.
You get to expand your Network. Seth Godin made popular the experience of tribes. Places where like-minded people choose to meet. The world has changed. Information in all its forms comes thick and fast towards us and we can easily change channels or switch it off. Living in the idea economy or the information age makes us more likely to select the voices we want to turn up. To identify the people we want to be around, and turn our backs on those we don’t click with.
Collaboration affords us the privilege of creating and expanding tribes that we want to be involved with.
You give and receive. In the faith world, I live in giver’s gain. You can’t give more than you will ultimately get back in return. Generous people WILL be prosperous. Period. Collaboration places you in the beautiful role of giver and receiver. You get to play the role of generous servant and humble receiver. Both are important in your development. John Holmes is quoted as saying “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John is right. When you collaborate, you make sure others benefit from your expertise.
Others lives are improved because of your sacrifice. Others dreams become more of a reality because of your diligence. When you give, you get. Simple. Profound. Necessary. Francis of Assisi concluded that, “It is in giving we receive.” Francis is right.
Add your WHO to your WHY. In the Making The Most of A Year posts, there has been regular references to Simon Sinek‘s emphasis on a clear and compelling WHY. It’s essential. But then again, so is WHO. Who are you doing this for? Who benefits? Who motivates you? Who will get the benefit of this focus, this work, and this dedication? I can suggest that list has to have more than your name on it. Your spouse, partner, children, friends, colleagues. There is a multiplier effect when you know WHO benefits from your WHY. People matter. It’s up to you to know their names and faces.
You can develop reflection IN action. Inspired by Megan Dredge this educational principle is key to making continuous improvement and purposeful progress. The key skill here is self-awareness. Having the ability to assess in real time, how things are going and make the mid air adjustments to land exactly where you want to. Become conscious of your physiology, your emotions, and your energy levels. Be attentive to your impact on others and how you are better able to serve them and increase personal effectiveness.
Reflection IN action is the ability to assess how things are going, and to make many small adjustments along the way so as to ensure you arrive at our destination better than ever. Consider the role of an aeroplane pilot. They have a clear destination; a powerful resource to get there and large numbers of minor adjustments that help you reach your end game. Making The Most Of A Year is the same. While you follow your plan, make the necessary adjustments that will accomplish what you most desire. Be agile enough to make corrections, changes, and incorporate new learnings.
You must choose milestones over goals. When you have destination clarity, you can identify the steps along the way that give you confidence you are heading in the right direction. Imagine you are on a train. There is a clear destination. The pathway is clear and there are ‘stops’ along the way that give you a specific measure of progress. How far you have come, and how much further you have to go. These are the milestones.
In the alpine environment near my home city, you can follow the walking track using the ‘snow poles’ even when there’s no snow you can track your progress, measure distance and manage direction; all essential when you are designing your ideal future. What matters is that you become clear on the milestones of progress and make intentional progress towards each one. Chose your milestones; look for your milestones; celebrate your milestones.
Keep moving forward. Your best life can benefit others. In the spirit of visionary contribution to the world, let’s end where we started. Woodrow Wilson concluding that, “You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.”
I for one believe that. For you.
#leadsmall – because when you do, big things can happen.