September 27, 2010
If you know it all—if you are the smartest person in the room all the time, then why are the rest of us here? To blindly and mutely serve you? To only do the menial tasks you deem too beneath you to do? Are we only Neophytes that cannot survive without you? I don’t think so…one person cannot possibly know everything there is to know about everything…even claiming to be the sole, preeminent expert in a specific topic or area is a stretch sometimes…unless you are actually a genius…aka Steven Hawking. (Or maybe a robot.) But even still, up to a certain point, you had to have learned what you know and/or got to where you are from the knowledge (and help) of others…so why wouldn’t you believe there are people out there that are just as, if not smarter than you now? Always living and thinking in the “I”-mentality is not only selfish and very short–sighted, but it is also restricting the ability of others to view you beyond your own perceived intelligence. Self-importance to this degree truly limits progression forward on a lot of levels—especially when you couldn’t have or didn’t do it all yourself.
Now, I do firmly believe that you can have an expertise, be highly skilled, extremely knowledgeable in your area of concentration, however, you truly are not the only one of value and contribution. Companies, business owners, etc. hire people based on the fact there is a need for competence in a concentration that they may not have the skills for or ability to handle in conjunction with all the other responsibilities. So, if they hire someone to manage this specific need and fulfill the requirements, it becomes a joint effort to achieve success. They must allow this employee, vendor, subcontractor to do the job they were hired to do and step aside…it is no longer “I”, “I”, “I”---it is We! And actually, in the eyes of clients and other business acquaintances, hiring others that have complementing skill sets and experience does actually make you look smarter. It shows you recognize that there are people out there that can bring different ideas, ways of thinking, options for success to the table. But, you have to believe that these employees, vendors, subcontractors are there for the right reasons and not just to be subservient…they are an asset and should be treated as such. They are part of the TEAM—hell in some cases, they are the TEAM. So understanding their value is a common professional courtesy. This is professional respect. You did not do everything yourself. You did not perform in a vacuum. You are now a co-worker—not that that means at the same level, obviously there is still the hierarchy—but in the performance of the work product—you are co-workers. Give the employees, vendors, subcontractors the respect due. Understand that they have skills and experience to help and achieve results and you will be amazed at the lengths with which these people will go for you. Not to mention, the success you can achieve together will be that much greater than what you can achieve alone.