“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you need a team.” ~John Wooden
Listen, we all like to be the person that gets called upon to “Save the Day” for some sort of project/process, but I look at this as a failing unless you are brought into an entirely different department/division. Those who come in to “Save the Day” have shown up too late to the party, and in many cases the company has already suffered too much. What would have happened if they had been a part of the process to begin with? Would it have gone more smoothly? What negative impact on the company has occurred?
This has been brought to my attention many times in more “political” companies I have worked for. In these companies I have seen members of management wait in the wings while they hold their assistance/wisdom to the side while they wait for the most politically advantageous moment to offer aid.
- Focus – Whether aid is being offered or requested, the aiding party is most likely too busy to get involved deeply. Keep the aid limited to as short and focused a time as possible: A one-hour consulting meeting, one full day away from their operation, a once a day 5 minute phone call. This gives maximum bang for buck.
- Come to aid graciously and non-threateningly – Ensure the party knows that you are there to help the company and that they are the one in charge. Basically you are there to serve under their leadership. Then give them a positive review in front of some others. If you don’t ensure that you are not a threat or glory-hog, then none of your contributions will be accepted anyway.
- Don’t shoot those who offer aid – If you are the one being offered assistance, accept it graciously, but use the above two ideas in reverse. Respect their need to run their own operation and limit involvement to “bang for buck” moments. This also limits their potential “political” motives.
Synergy can be the benefit of scale, IF you do not engage in political wrangling and focus on using everyone’s talents for the greater good of the company. Seek out advice room experts in the company, and offer your own wisdom graciously. The companies that are best at this will be the ones who win!