I started a new project last week with some good friends. It has the potential to be life changing - not just for me, but more importantly, for the people we serve.
But there was a tension that was hard to figure out, which was surprising because we are all friends. Friends or not though, there was an old, disturbing, sickening feeling rising up in my chest. A feeling I've had many times before and didn't want to have again.
You see, my first observation when I begin working with others is that everyone is in a great big hurry. So, in order to be liked, fit in and be perceived as valuable, I immediately get into a great big hurry too.
Great big hurry to do what? Beats me, but I need to hurry. If I don't model the same urgency, I'll be ignored and eventually dropped. That makes sense, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Just because we're friends doesn't mean we 'get' each other. Projects change. People change. Sometimes daily.
Nobody doing serious work dives in on Day One. First responders get trained before they dive into danger. Trained on the nitty gritty details of saving lives but also on the reasons why they do what they do. Hopefully they get empathy and compassion training too. That's how they can make quick decisions when the heat is on and do good rather than causing harm.
New team members, potential spouses and business partners need to take the time to listen, to give context, to understand each other. The time spend is an investment that will pay back again and again, as the team works in the same direction.
So I'm resisting the urge to hit the ground running this time, lest I hit the ground and break my nose. Or worse, accidentally break someone else's nose.
No, much better to breathe and to learn first. Learn the context, the strategy, the things that have been tried before, the fears and hopes of others. Then agree to a plan and execute the plan together.
Ready, Aim, Fire.
Do you rush headlong into the void? Have any tricks to slowing down and aiming first? Let me know in the comments!