None of us is as smart as all of us.
Written on a whiteboard in the window of a small town shop, that message made me smile. Simply put, collaboration is divine. Never should it be under valued.
The notion of collective efficiency hit home hard and fast when I took my first maternity leave several years ago. It was quite a plan and a list I had made in the weeks leading up, carefully thought out, ready to be proficiently executed. As it turns out, babies laugh in the face of plans, lists and false senses of control. Comprehension of working relationships became a make-it or break-it for me when trying to get my feet back into the working game. It took a new understanding of time, and a more honest approach to my
Seeing the real value in time changed a lot for me when I first returned. Time is one of the most priceless commodities every person possesses. Giving of our energy and talents always comes at the cost of giving our time. When it’s spent wisely it is a payoff worth its weight. Understanding that no one can do it all alone, or perhaps more aptly put, no one has the time to do it all alone, made giving up control an easier pill to swallow.
Approaching working relationships with honesty was also integral for me to learn. I think the key is to focus on the second half of that term, the relationship side. It doesn’t matter if I’m paying you or you’re paying me, we still exist in a relationship, and that needs to honoured. Respecting the other side’s role and trusting in the combined force of the relationship is what makes the effort worth the while. It also usually makes the effort a much more brilliant one.
Four years later and I’m on my third round of maternity leave this fall. No lists in sight this time. This time around, I’m just going fall back on the “all of us” group that’s in my corner. Just to be certain, I’ll promise them some Christmas baking when I return in December. Baking bribes, like collaboration, are also not to be under valued.