Coming off a number of super productive meetings and sessions centered around bigger initiatives over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about mentality when it comes to business and approaching problems.
One of the things I loved so much about playing lacrosse in college and sports in general is that, when you’re in game, theres always this idea of a whiteboard mentality. Whether the team would brainstorm during timeouts, or coaches physically whiteboarding the direction at half, it was about pivoting with intent and everyone being synced to figure out the best solution. Didn’t matter who came up with the idea, it just mattered that everyone felt as if the solution made sense for the team and desired outcome. I’ve been lucky enough to experience this type of mentality in certain jobs throughout the past 9 years.
In business, when you transition to a leadership position, the biggest balance that needs to be played is when to bring others into work. Too soon can create angst. Too late can cause people to feel excluded from critical aspects. This is extremely hard to balance. But, leaders that bring people in too late miss a critical point – the alternate perspective from people that aren’t “in it” can be essential to helping shape the solution. Of course, there are going to be times when things have to wait until a certain point in their development, but bringing people in earlier, the better. The unknown may create more angst, but as a leader, as long as you are clear on your north star, the angst will quickly pass over time.
There’s a reason you see the best coaches in the thick of the huddle during a game.