In a team setting, not all solutions need to come from you.

In fact, many of the solutions must come from others. Especially when you are a leader.

The art of collaboration and cooperation is misunderstood. Due to a combination of fear and misunderstanding.

The wrong idea of "I need to come up with a solution", to push one's idea, to think of this as a "to win, it needs to be my idea" hampers the team.

It doesn't matter where the idea comes from. All ideas evolve through conversation, by dropping the ego, and by building it together.

In the early days of The Quad, I needed to come up with approximately 50% of the ideas. And that was the job, and it was a lot of fun.

girl friends hands piled togethger
Photo by Hannah Busing / Unsplash

Today, the job is very different. The team needs to come up with problems, as well as solutions.

I've found three crucial things to enable this:

  1. Dropping my ego.
  2. Not see "winning" as my idea of winning. Instead, winning comes from doing better. And it is irrelevant whose idea it is.
  3. Dropping ownership of an idea. The minute I label an idea as mine, it is tainted. Instead, I throw an idea out there and leave it.

The larger theme is the "hero" concept. Whatever role we play, we are used to glory-worshipping the star of the show. The hero who conquers all. This is a flawed concept that hurts.

If you find yourself doing this, now's a great time to change things up.

If you find this happening in your team meetings, it is a red flag for you to disrupt.

Do it. Good things will happen.