I recently came back from a business trip that took me around the world. Japan, Ukraine, New York. Working across multiple language barriers and times zones is stressful as everyone works towards the common goal of creating a product.
In the past I found myself stressed to the max with this kind of situation. Sweating in the pressure cooker of a high stakes production.
Stress pushes people to work hard, but it’s not a healthy way to work for extended periods of time. Non-stop sprinting is a good way to burn out.
When stress is high how do you get perspective? How do you care? How do you equip a team and move towards your vision while remaining calm under pressure?
Caring about your work more then your image is a good place to start.
Change Your Mindset From Inferior to Collaborator.
When you switch from pleasing clients and bosses to being a partner and a peer, you’re free to care intensely about your work, team members, and personal mission.
In work sometimes you may want to shy away from leadership and only get your marching orders. This can happen because you don’t think you’re good enough and sometimes just because you feel like taking it easy.
In these times it’s helpful to remind yourself “You’re not inferior.”
To overcome this “inferior mindset,” I try to act with a collaborator mindset, to see myself as valuable so that I can contribute my best ideas, work, and effort.
How I Check My Mindset.
Inferior — looking for orders.
If I’m supposed to be working with others, and I find myself doing the below things, it’s a flag that I may be seeing myself as inferior, or that I’m operating at less then my potential.
- If I’m helpful, well-meaning, but looking for directions to complete a task and not engaging in the solution.
- If I’m not speaking up with ideas for fear of what others will think.
- If I start to worry about having a different viewpoint than a higher “ranking” or “smarter” leader.
Even working at higher levels of an industry I’ve found I can slip into thinking I’m inferior to other leaders.
Collaborator — creating direction.
When I’m operating with a collaborator mindset I act as a peer, I find myself doing these things:
- I try new ideas without worry of rejection.
- I pursue a course of action in line with my higher goal.
- I make my own tasks in service to a teams effort.
Operating as a collaborator, I’m not looking to impress others — I’m working towards a solution with others.
Push Past the Nagging Impostor Syndrome
For me, thinking as a collaborator is a hack to push past that nagging impostor syndrome feeling, it lets me be free to do great work without getting in my own way.
Collaborating gives me ownership while allowing others to have it too.
If you’re hiding away from ownership and seeing yourself as inferior, try putting on the mindset of collaborator.