Sometimes, I am fortunate to be near the epicenter of a new idea. Sometimes, I am asked to lead the new project. Sometimes, I am in the inner circle when the planning begins. Sometimes, I help determine who is pulled onto the team. Sometimes, I can begin thrashing (see earlier posts) as early as I want. Sometimes, I have the opportunity to shape the trajectory of a (hopefully) successful project.
But that isn’t my experience most of the time. Most of the time, I am not involved in the creation of the new idea. Most of the time, I find out long after the key players have been chosen. Most of the time, the project has built up a head of steam and irrevocable decisions have already been made. Most of the time, I am playing catch-up and deeply frustrated that obstacles have already formed that I think I could have avoided.
When that happens, how should I respond?
Should I throw a temper tantrum? Should I remind everyone how much skill and ability I have to offer and how off-track they have gotten without my participation? Should I sit back and withhold my help…so that everyone will realize how much they need me next time?
Or, I could do my best to add value, no matter how late I was invited into the project. I could make the best of the hand I’ve been dealt. I could show my ability to respond to difficult situations. I could offer encouragement to others when things are difficult.
Which reaction will give me a better seat at the table next time? (When you invite people into your projects, which reaction do you prefer to work with?)
Maybe the people above me made mistake by leaving me out. But, my reaction will determine what happens next time.
Thanks for listening.