In my late 20s, I worked at an environmental consulting firm. When I first started I had a boss that believed that he was the only one that could look good. He took all the credit for good ideas and passed all the blame to us.
Needless to say, it was a very unhappy team of biologists.
Luckily he left the company about six months after I started. (Well he was fired, but that’s a whole other story.)
Our new boss, Eric had a completely different leadership style.
His leadership style I call the Jim Rohn approach. Because it was centered on the quote usually credited to him,
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
He felt that as a team we averaged out. And if we all helped, taught, and shared with each other, we could increase our team average.
At the time, my botany identification skills weren’t awesome. (In fact, I was pretty terrible at identifying most native California plants.)
So for the next several months, I was always paired up with our native plant expert. Each time we went out, she took the time to explain common native plants, where this particular plant grew, and how to quickly identify it.
In return, I taught her how to distinguish between different common raptors. I explained how to know them apart based on wing and body shape, what habitat we were in, and what the raptor was doing.
Eric continued to mix us up over time and this continued to make our team better.
When you work alone, you don’t have a team with complementary skills to help increase your average.
Instead, you have to figure out how to connect with people who have (or are trying to develop) the same skills you want. Luckily, there are lots of ways to do this. You might:
- participate in a mastermind group
- join a Facebook group or other online community (if you want to increase your legal skills you can join our community here!)
- pay for a group coaching program
- sign up for a skills-based organization like Toastmasters (or a Meetup group)
- virtually pick an author’s brain by slowly reading a book, synthesizing, and taking action on her theories before reading more
What’s important to remember is that the relationship is only fair, when you both bring something to the table.
You could, as we did in my biology job, teach each other the complementary skills that you have.
Or you could give money in exchange for someone bringing her skills to the table (like in a paid coaching offering, or purchasing a book).
I’ve found that these kinds of relationships can make a huge impact on my average.
What’s one way you can increase your average today?
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