April 15

I’ve seen one particular narrative disrupt otherwise effective teams, derail very good managers, and ultimately rob people and teams of the very joy of doing their work. It’s this:

“You’re all alone. You must not show weakness.”

Any indication of hesitation or confusion about a project is perceived as a sign of incompetence. So we forge ahead on our own, projecting confidence but inwardly wrestling with what we should do next. We play the role of superhero, pretending like we have it all figured out.

The problem? Everyone already knows you don’t have it all figured out. In fact, no one does. We need one another to see problems clearly and to make meaningful progress.

Invite other people into your problem-solving process. Ask for their input. Ask them to tell you what they see. This is especially important for managers of creative teams, because it builds trust and helps your team members better understand your thought process and how you approach problems. This will strengthen your team’s bond and ability to collaborate in the future.

Ask others:

What do you see here?

What would you do if you were me?

What am I overlooking?

Invite others into your creative process. Don’t try to be a superhero.

Who should you invite into your creative process today?

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