Here is a very important lesson in Self-Leadership.
Many years ago, when the first big firm I worked for had been sold, and at the new firm, I’d made a couple of dramatic big sales, the new supervisor asked me to work more with the original members of his firm, even though neither our work nor our clients overlapped. I see now I had no idea what he was asking.
I Never Asked
I know I never asked him because I was sure at the time I knew what he meant. I was sure he was asking me to do the very thing I didn’t want to do: work on his other employees’ projects in order to increase my billed hours. I didn’t like that. I was a big-picture business developer and risk-taker, both of which strengths had resulted in big sales for the new firm. I wanted to have free rein to do more of that and not be pressured over my billed hours. After all, my job was to create work and billable hours for other people, and I was good at it. “Doesn’t he know that??” I said to myself.
I Thought I Already Knew
Who knows what he knew? Who knows what he was asking? I certainly didn’t because I didn’t ask him. Who knows what I might have learned if I’d asked him for his wants and needs and then leaned in? But I’ll never know because I was sure I already knew. To answer your question, no, I didn’t comply with his request, which added to our never really getting along, though at the time I didn’t believe I had any role in that. Sam, if you’re reading this, I was wrong. I should have asked you want you meant and what you wanted.
Reader, have you ever made that mistake of thinking you already knew? Please “comment”.