Each of our careers in business are different. As we journey along, the sights and sounds each of us experience may be similar but are never exactly the same. We are products of our environment, and your perspective can benefit from the insights of others.
Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.
~ Bruce Coslet
The Full Scoop
Recently I had the opportunity to get out early for a walk on the beach. My hope was to find an exciting treasure, perhaps a shell or a valuable coin. It didn't take long to realize that I was not the first one on the beach, at least a half dozen beachgoers had been out before me. This early bird had not been up early enough! And no, there were no worms.
A few questions came to mind. What would my walk on the beach had been like 30 minutes earlier? Would I have been out with others, would the wind have been stronger, perhaps the tide would have been higher, would I have found different treasures.
In business, we are always encouraged to seek out the wisdom and knowledge of others. For example, if you are new to starting a business, you will be prompted by others to speak with someone who started a business before you. This will give you an opportunity to hear and learn from their triumphs, pitfalls and successes.
While remaining open to the insights and stories of others, be careful that you use their experiences to compliment (not replace) your own. The experiences you have will never be the same as someone before you, and you will have to rely on your own experiences to guide your decisions. While your journey will be your own, this does not mean you need to go it alone.
On my walk, while I was on the same beach and not much time had passed, many things had changed from what others had experienced. The sun had risen higher in the sky, the winds, the tide, perhaps someone before me was lucky enough to snatch a special shell or treasure. We were not experiencing the same thing. Similarly, if business success was easy or predictable, we'd have a perfectly outlined guide to financial wealth and success.
Our team was once called into a system outage for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. We pulled a team in because not one person was going to solve this problem. While a LMGTFO (let me google that for you) would have been nice, this was a truly unique issue, we were going to need to rely on what we knew, to collectively resolve the reported issues as a team.
We had a business user assist in recreating the issue, it is hard to fix something if it isn't reproducible. We had a network engineer on the router, checking the Firewall/IPS configuration. There was one of our application engineers, reviewing the configuration of the software platform, to see if it could be a part of the problem.
Each part and team member needed to work together. You could say we were all in IT, and each had similar years of experience, but those experiences had been different and we needed a team effort to solve and prevent these system errors from returning; which we did.
Even if you are on the same "beach" as another member of your team, your experiences will differ. Much like learning from the experiences of another business owner, learn to leverage and value the experiences of those around you, even if your experiences are similar. Remember the wisdom Bruce Coslet once eloquently shared, "Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary". The collective wisdom and strength of your support group, is what will shine when fresh and unique solutions are needed.