Independence and self-reliance are two of the qualities that many of us in the United States value highly. Our culture and history are permeated with examples of rugged individuals who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps and did it their way.
There is certainly a lot of power and satisfaction in learning to rely on oneself. At the same time, it is also valuable to learn how to use other resources wisely. Any seasoned executive will tell you that successful ventures depend not only on one's personal talents and habits, but also on the skillful management of one's team. The same is true in our personal lives.
People take on personal projects for many reasons, but all of them require some level of change. Whether this change is driven by desire or necessity, committed do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) sometimes have difficulty knowing when to get help or delegate. Here are some situations where getting outside support are important to the success of your personal projects:
- Additional information. There are times when you need more data or facts to guide you in clarifying your project, or in determining whether the plan you are following is working. If you feel unclear about your project focus, scope, or progress, this is a clue that you may need additional information that you are not able to access. Is there someone else who could provide this information more readily or reliably? If your answer is yes, it may be time to consult with someone who has that expertise.
- Advice. Some projects involve areas of special expertise that is not available to the average citizen, or where incorrect assumptions could have serious consequences. Questions involving health care, financial, and legal decisions are a few examples where an expert opinion could help you avoid undesirable risks or outcomes.
- Planning. The path to a successful project does not always seem straightforward, or easily achievable. Even though the project may feel important, there are any number of reasons why it can seem daunting. If you notice that you don't know where to start, or are avoiding starting an endeavor that is important to you, you may benefit from someone who can help you break your project into manageable pieces. This can be particularly relevant if you are under stress or have a situation where limited time or energy are impacting your level of confidence.
- Additional skills or tools. Projects sometimes require the use of specialized skills or tools that you do not possess, and that would not be worth your time or resources to acquire. Finding a specialist who has access to these skills or tools can can help move your project forward.
- Accountability. Most people have any number of projects happening simultaneously. Working with other people helps create the structure and energy required to get your projects done.
- Convenience or Ease. Let's face it. There are some things that we can do, but we'd rather not. If you are avoiding doing something — for whatever reason — ask yourself whether someone else could help you get it done so that you don't stay stuck.
As we approach the mid-point of the year, it is a great time to evaluate the projects that are still on your to-do list. Which ones are moving forward? For the ones that aren't, consider how involving others could help you get to the desired outcome. As the CEO of your life, you don't have to do everything. Leading a great team can be a powerful way to accomplish the things that matter to you.
What about you? Where have you used the power of team in getting things done? Please share your experiences in the comments below!