Sharing the Path

Greg Thomas

Driving home the other night, I witnessed one car signal to a lane and another blissfully ignore it and go into that same spot before them. No one was hurt, the original driver, pulled back over, then having to wait to go back into the lane.

This incident though (besides being absolutely dumb driving) reminded me of how often we are fighting to get ahead instead of each other instead of not realizing that if we worked better together we’d all get there at the same time.

This is a common struggle with team development — how do I get ahead of the team I’m on and onto something else, something newer, something better. There is too much literature on finding the best teams to work on because being on that best team will automagically make you a better performer, so the goal should be, must be to always find the better team so you can grow.

And if you’re always doing this, you’re never sharing the road, you’re also tossing aside one car for another and moving up.

Why can’t you work with the team you have?

Instead of focusing on your development, your growth, take a step back and look at the team you have. What can you do for them that will raise their game and bring them up to that “Tiger” team level? What can you do that will make them a better sum than their parts?

It can be done, but the reason we don’t do it as often as we’d like is that it’s hard to do. It’s hard to look at five people on your team, figure out what you can do for them and help them raise their game without directly focusing on yours. But if you start doing this, and your team of five starts doing this, then that means there are five coaches, mentors, sponsors, leaders, cheer squads working to make every person on your team that much better.

The best compliment of how good you are is not when you leave and they ask you who should they replace you with. It’s when you leave and they realize they don’t need to replace you with anyone because you have done such a great job of elevating your team that there is no need to.

And in that same moment they will ask themselves — how do we get all of our teams to be this great?

At first, glance, when you Share the Path, you feel like you’re letting go, it’s out of your hands, you have no chance to succeed, it’s up to others on your team and all of this seems very, very bad. When you take a second look that’s when you realize that all of it benefits you and through it, you will become better as a result and still achieve your goals.

Want more? I run BetaRover Inc, muse on The Sniffing Markers Podcast and purge all my thoughts on — have a peek, read or listen.

Greg Thomas

Written by

I take the complex problems- software development, leadership, team growth- and make it simple.

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