I Can’t Do It Alone – Part 2Posted by: Felicity Huffman on June 11th, 2012
In my first post about teamwork, I was writing about how any idea I might have, never has the strength to break out of its shell, unless I have a team around me.
Now, I know that there are many people out there that do it on their own, and I know our society really values and applauds the lone victor: “She didn’t have any help” “She grew up with nothing.” We admire it and we should because it’s so damn difficult and courageous. But we often view an advantage with distain: “Oh her father got her the job,” or “but he already had an in with at the firm,” or “ yeah, but she’s married to the CEO of the company.” But that should not be the litmus test. The litmus test should be: How is she doing in the job her father got her? There are many examples of women who have gotten a leg up, and then have kicked ass in that arena: Stella McCartney, Nicole Richie, Erin Lauder, and Hilary Clinton, to name a few. Hat’s off to them I say.
Isaac Newton said, “If I’ve achieved greatness it’s because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.” He was talking about the work of those who came before him, but that is still a team. You can have a vertical team: those whose work you are building upon or the wisdom of the ages that guides you. A horizontal team: your pal who shows up to run with you in the morning or your business partner who doesn’t know the meaning of “quit.” And the interior team: your mother who believed in you and whose voice still lives in your head, your Father’s perseverance which you emulate.
I want to put to bed the idea that I have to do it myself or it doesn’t count. Because, as I said, I am not a self-starter, at all. I want to surround myself with a brilliant, ambitious, tenacious, and wise team whose commitment stops the idea from dying on the sidewalk. And even if all I bring to this party is the snacks and Gatorade, I don’t care. In other words, I don’t want to get into the internal debate of whether or not I deserve to be on this team or if my contribution is worthwhile. I just want to wear the jersey and show up ready to play hard. Or …maybe just take a nap, because I have lost the battle against lassitude that I wage day to day.
What about you? Tell me about your horizontal, vertical or interior team. Do you have an idea you want to share with a friend and make a reality?