My superman shirt rip…

Our family is pretty big NFL fans.  We love the Colts due to 18 years of living in Indiana.  Have you seen the gesture  athletes sometimes do after they make a touchdown or big tackle?  They pretend to pull their shirt open as if to display their superman suit beneath their uniform.

Sometimes I act like I don’t need a team.  Why do I do it?  I guess I get in a hurry and want it done right away.  I get excited.  I get inspired. I figuratively rip open my shirt and act like I am the only member on my team.

I try to fool myself.  I say that I can figure it out on my own.  I say I can be more flexible and responsive on my own. I can work some extra hours after the kids are in bed or put in more focused effort. I say if I don’t do it no one will.  I say others are too busy.  When I put that together with my self imposed sense of urgency I have the perfect plan for failure or mediocrity.

When I fail to utilize the team I neglect to build interest and enthusiasm. I fail to draw upon the talents and gifts of my team members.  I fail to be patient and give those around me time to join me in my vision. I miss out on a better vision or plan because I lack the input of others.

In order to utilize my team I must share ideas and plans and ask others what they think.  I have to respect the views of others enough to hear their concerns, reservations and affirmation.

But…. I don’t have time!

Another reason I failed to build and rely on a team is because I didn’t take the time.  In the back of my mind maybe I didn’t think people would agree with me. It takes time to build a team and I didn’t want to wait.  I egotistically thought I knew what was best no matter what others thought.  I failed to have a humble heart and ask for help.

That humble thing… it is way different than the superman shirt rip and … not nearly as much fun!  People might not like my ideas… and they might be right in not liking them!  What if I can’t convince them?  I will have to change my plans.  That isn’t always fun for me.

I can’t tell you I’ve overcome this tendency to be a team of one, but I hope I am getting better.  I must:

  • listen better
  • have more patience
  • hold my agenda or vision more loosely
  • hear the perspective of others
  • ask people to join me
  • communicate my ideas clearly
  • respect and deal with the problems, fears and concerns of the team
  • let others help me

When I do these things I am a better person and leader.  I also have a stronger team when I use and value the gifts, wisdom and insight of my team!

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