Thursday, August 06, 2009

It Is HARD To Collaborate - The Small Business Challenge

There are three types of group collaborations that can take the soul out of you, and give you the most rewards, and they are:

Being in a band
Working on a committee
Working for a small company

My list comes completely from experience... And yet, I want to focus on the small company collaboration. Trust me, it is harder than the others...

A small company is the most challenging in my opinion. You can walk away from a band, and you have your passion/talent driving you here. On a committee, many times, you aren't paid so you can tell everyone to F%&K themselves and walk away. In a small company, you can't leave without damaging the company. Telling people to F%&K off will hurt you in the long run. But, nail it with a small company that is doing something unique and you have something no one else has - real opportunity!

Yet, it can feel as though you're walking closer to the end of the plank... In a small company, the next step can be your last, which is why collaboration is so important. This is a lesson I'm learning every single day! I'm not master at collaboration, believe me. It is hard. Keeping you ego out of everything sucks. Listening to people - F%&K that! Working jointly on tasks - F%&K that too! However, when was the last time a small company succeeded without multiple people and great talent?

Collaboration is central to growing an organization! Here are a few lessons I'm learning in a small company, which is focused on collaboration...

1. SHUT YOUR MOUTH - unless you have a positive contribution
2. Not every great idea will move forward, even though it is a great idea - you have to push on it
3. Embrace as many talents as possible - it might take longer, but things will get done
4. Be upfront about goals and objectives - and build in accountability
5. Let go - just let it go

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