“Drop the hammer and pick up the shovel.”
—attributed to J.A. Dever
Image from Flickr by Daniel R. Blume
If you are a student of leadership and management theory, I’m sure you are fully aware that the old school “Command and Control” Taskmaster, or in this case, “Drop the Hammer” approach to success is history.
With the intense competition for talent, organizations and their leaders must create collaborative and cooperative cultures wherein each employee can develop and contribute in a meaningful way to remain engaged. Without the side-by-side pursuit of individual and organizational achievement, many top people will seek their futures elsewhere.
Where would more of a “Pick up the Shovel,” team leader approach to people and results be just the ticket for you and your organization to thrive today, and well into the future?
“The world must learn to work together, or finally it will not work at all.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
Image from OD4pic
As part of my preliminary discover process, two of the questions I use to determine the potential value of a coaching relationship are:
- What is working and going well in your personal and professional life?
- What is not working or going as you wish in your personal and professional life?
Based on the answers provided, a customized coaching relationship can be used to support going from good to great, or from not good to substantially better.
Perhaps no single factor impacts these areas more than the ability to create mutually trusting relationships and work toward common objectives.
Given the state of the world and specifically your worlds, what efforts and actions can and will you take to work more effectively and successfully with others?
“Vital to every operation is cooperation.”
—Frank Tyger, Editorial Cartoonist
Image from BK Forex
What do elite Navy Seals, your favorite sports team, and a top surgical team have in common?
They are all examples of the impact and synergy of cooperation.
In these situations, the acronym TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) couldn’t be more appropriate and true.
I experienced this personally in the writing of my book, The Quotable Coach: Daily Nuggets of Personal Wisdom. Those helping me pull off this project included hundreds of people such as family, friends, editors, loyal readers, and of course, the insightful minds of those quoted.
Where is a booster shot of cooperation and teamwork required to pull off some vital operation in your world?
“A single leaf working alone provides no shade.”
—Chuck Page, American Politician
We’ve all heard phrases such as:
“It takes team work to make the dream work,” and “Together everyone achieves more. (TEAM)”
Instead of responding with “I know,” “Of course,” or “DUH!,” I suggest we each take a moment to revisit the idea more closely.
Most would agree that cooperation, collaboration, dialogue, alignment, and agreement are virtuous interpersonal qualities and characteristics.
How often do you exhibit these qualities rather than preferring to be “right,” go it alone, or perhaps actually undermine the efforts of those around you?
It’s OK to do an honest assessment of the personal tendencies we all prefer to hide and keep to ourselves.
Where and in what ways can you put your personal or professional agenda aside and join the other leaves on your tree of life to achieve more of the extraordinary outcomes you desire?
“It is not the bee touching the flowers that gathers the honey, but her abiding for a time upon them, and drawing out the sweet.”
—The Mother’s and Young Lady’s Annual, published in 1853
Image from Unsplash
Pollination and making honey are the two primary jobs of bees. Most of us have seen those nature shows on TV in which the brightly colored flowers put on their spring display to attract these amazing creatures.
Upon close inspection, the journey from flower to flower involves the bee’s hard and enduring work of nectar-gathering. The fortuitous by-product of their efforts – the wonderful honey they produce – is achieved by the flowers passing their stores of pollen to a neighboring blossom.
What personal or professional projects are not progressing as you wish due to your less-than-optimal attention and efforts? Where would greater intensity, persistence, and tenacity help you achieve more of the sweet success you seek?
“I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.”
-Erica Cook, Interior Designer and Blogger
A few weekends ago my wife Wendy and I watched the movie, Where to Invade Next, in which Michael Moore compared the views of people from many countries regarding education, healthcare, equality, and business, to those of Americans.
His journey to explore a wide variety of routes to success and bring them back to America was fascinating. He discovered—surprisingly—that there are many ways to succeed that seem contrary to what one might think.
A significant take-away for me was the many examples of happiness and success in which collective achievements and the care of everyone within the community was paramount.
Where would a shift from a “ME” perspective to a “WE” approach make the biggest difference in either your personal or professional worlds?
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
— Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese Poet
A few days ago I had a discussion with a business leader who was at the end of his rope. He was totally exhausted and overwhelmed by the tsunami of work and responsibilities coming at him.
Have you ever felt that way? What did you do to stave off the tidal wave?
Our coaching session centered on his current and future use of social support structures, so that he might tackle these matters in a collective, collaborative community rather than as an individual whose shoulders were just not wide enough to bear the burden.
How can you capture and mobilize all the individual drops within your personal and professional communities to become your own powerful ocean, to move the obstacles in your path?
“…The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
– Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American industrialist
Let’s face it: when it comes down to it, we’re all a bit selfish. Who hasn’t had the thought “What’s in it for me” from time to time? People rarely will do something solely for the Gipper, if there’s little or no personal pay off.
It seems that all truly great teams understand this, and add this special factor of shared accomplishment to their own individual success. Even the acronym TEAM has been described as “Together, Everyone Achieves More.”
How can you tap into both the individual and collective motives of your personal and professional communities to obtain the uncommon results you desire?
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