When on a new project (or…ehem, job) it’s easy to think it’s immediately important to first pursue relationships outward and upward. To aim attention on the big fish and the big names. “Go meet those people.” “Build those relationships”. We feel pressure to stick our hands out and introduce ourselves and begin to make our mark. That’s not how I work. First, I like to look in. Then I’ll stick my hand out.
Looking in means understanding the immediate team you’re on. If teams within teams are like concentric circles, than I’m talking about your first circle. The folks, who will orginate the work you’ll share with the larger teams, the outer circles.
What am I looking for in the first circle?
- Talent and potential
- Ability to lead and demonstrate leaderly behaviors
- Desire to grow (like…does the team have any?)
- Willingness to try new things
- Positive or negative energy (which is dominant)
Armed with the understanding of where the team sits on each of these, sticking my hand out and representing the team is a more intentional and calibrated effort. Now those conversations with the next set of circles can be informed by where the potential lies within the team I live in every day. I’ll know where we can stretch, where the potential lies, how to approach new challenges and what my inward team might need in order to step to the plate and swing at the ball with their full selves.
I believe it’s my responsibility to start there. And, I’m very curious how others apprach “starting something new”. Where do you start?