Your supervisor walks by your desk and casually says, “I need you to help Joe’s department catch up. They are falling behind on their portion of the project. I appreciate it.” As your supervisor walks away, you realize how far behind you are as well. For a split second, you contemplate storming his office to vent and complain about your situation. Doesn’t he know your plate is full? Or how you worked six days the last few weeks trying to catch up on your project?
Helping your peers rarely comes at a comfortable time.
Of course, your supervisor does. But at the present moment, he needs your help. So before you barge into the office, there is something to remember. Helping your peers rarely comes at a comfortable time. It usually comes at a time when you are swamped, dealing with staffing issues, and in jeopardy of missing your project deadline. So why help? Successful leaders sacrifice their needs to help others. It’s a game changer for your career.
Leading By Example: Doing what’s right
Let’s be realistic helping others is challenging. We do what’s right because we know someone needs help and shouldn’t expect anything in return. Having this type of positive attitude sets a good example for your team. You are in the spotlight, and your actions are being observed and modeled by your team or peers. With every action good or bad the team is learning from you.
It’s normal to feel frustrated when asked to help others, especially when you are swamped, but never vocalize this with your team. All the team needs to know is you want to help another department and that’s about it. Helping others is part of your expectations and will foster a team work environment. Doing what’s right builds a culture of employees doing the same. Would you rather have a team player, or someone unwilling to help others on your staff? Of course, a team player is more beneficial to overall team dynamics.
Great partnerships start with trust and teamwork.
Team Work: Peer Trust
The fastest way to earn a peers trust is being there when help is needed. Not to mention its a great way of displaying teamwork. It’s not rocket science, but when you help others you are actively building a relationship. Great partnerships start with trust and teamwork. When a peer’s in a pinch and you come to the rescue you become their “hero.” Even if only for the day.
Seems simple enough but takes an enormous amount of trouble-shooting in finding a way to help while also balancing your workload. But that’s normal, look beyond the challenge and find a win-win solution. Be the leader who symbolizes teamwork. Mastering how to help others while completing your workload is a useful skill. It also showcases how resourceful you are as a leader.
Some leaders become more department focused vs. company focused.
Company Focused vs. Department Focused
Some leaders become more department focused vs. company focused. It’s makes sense since most of the workload is usually within one’s department. But to grow you must be able to see the entire playing field. Think about how a CEO would run the business. An effective CEO will focus on the entire organizational health, or what many call “the big picture.” All aspects of the business must be protected. The more wiling you are to seeing the company focuses, the more likely you will align them with your department focuses. If you want to advance your career, embrace the “bigger picture” and build your reputation as being company focused.
Not going to beat around the bush, but helping others means you will need to work harder than if you didn’t. Why? Because you still need to execute your job as well. So how will that help you grow? It forces you to become solution orientated and self-aware. Deadlines don’t change but how you get there will. You may be compelled to delegate, problem solve, communicate, and empower the team more. That’s a good thing. As you become more solution orientated, you will undoubtedly grow faster and build your reputation and a “multi-tasker.”
Get out of your comfort zone and go make a difference.
Building a team player reputation is the foundation for future advancement. It takes sacrifice and is rarely comfortable. Your team and peers all play a role in your career. Never take this lightly. Their opinion of you matters. Show them what great team work looks like. You can influence people’s perception of your helpfulness through your actions. Invest in your self growth, help others, stay company focused and improve your ability to become solution orientated. Get out of your comfort zone and go make a difference. Be the power house leader you are meant to be!