“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
This bit of wisdom recently posted on Inova’s Facebook page caught my attention. I have a friend who is always upbeat. He has the ability to stand back in a seemingly objective manner and find humor in every situation. And sometimes I wonder why I can’t be more like Frank. I’ve stood with him and a small group of people who were all equally affected by a decision and while the rest of us were complaining and stewing a bit, Frank would chuckle and make light of the situation. And invariably, sometime down the road, when we would look back and reminisce, we too were able to join Frank, objectively chuckle and realize everything worked out in the end. Another acquaintance of mine is incredibly engaging. You’d think she was talking to the queen or king of England with almost each encounter she has. She is enthralled, passionate and excited. I wonder why I can’t be more like Kim.
One lesson I’ve learned from serving on various boards over the years is the importance of having many different personalities on a team. Barbara the school teacher used to drive us all nuts with her incredible attention to detail. We dare not move on if each “i” wasn’t dotted and each “t” crossed. And by golly, if the bylaws say you must have three estimates if spending over $500, you better not even think about asking for a vote if you haven’t brought your three estimates to the table. But without the Barbara’s to keep us in line, rules would be broken. And on this same board was Rick who loved to talk about how it used to be and discuss every option possible – for a long, long time. And then there was me, tapping my foot, eager to make a decision and move on. But it was easy to see that the key ingredient to our successes as a board was having such a well-rounded group. Attention to detail, bringing in prior lessons learned and different viewpoints, and a task master to move things along all led to better decisions and actions.
How boring would this world be if we were all the same? If everyone is thinking the same, someone isn’t speaking up! What’s unique about your team? When was a time that those differences really paid off?