How do you eat an elephant faster?

elephant

I was talking to a friend yesterday at her office when she pointed to a new quote on her white board.  It said “How do you eat an elephant?”  Of course we both said “One bite at a time.”  We were talking about the BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) we had both set for this year.  She was mentioning that she had the quote there to remind her to break those BHAGs down into manageable parts so she could work on them.

On my drive home I thought about our conversation some more.  It dawned on me that to eat that elephant faster (to achieve those BHAGs) we all need some help.

So where do we get the help?  Collaborate with others.  Wikipedia defines collaboration as working together to achieve a goal.  Let’s face it; we all need help today in order to achieve the success we desire.  The reason we need to collaborate with others is because we need help with something.

A few examples of why you would collaborate include;

  • Develop a product or service you couldn’t do alone.
  • Combined knowledge – two heads are better than one.  Three or more – even better.
  • Quicker solution – combined knowledge leads to quicker solutions
  • Everyone gains from the experience by contributing to the project.
  • With more people involved you have an opportunity to learn new things
  • You get to hear other people’s ideas and opinions through brainstorming
  • It’s fun to be part of a team.

To sum it up – when you collaborate with others to create Win/Win/Win solutions everyone involved wins!

One of the things we discussed was how easy it was to collaborate with others on certain things.  I mentioned that I liked to support my clients by informally collaborating with them.  Informal collaboration is passive in nature, it’s non-structured, easily done at one’s convenience, and fun to do.

Examples of informal collaboration includes; driving traffic to their website by posting their logo and link on your website, sharing their blog or their Facebook or Google+ post, Re-tweeting something, sharing their information on LinkedIn, connecting them with someone else, or bragging about them on the radio or through your own postings.

So if collaborating is so good, why don’t people collaborate more? For one, not everyone is good at collaborating.  Fortunately it is a skill that can be learned. Collaborations can be a lot of work and sometimes they can even hurt you.  They involve risk to all that are involved.  What if I do more work than everyone else?  How well do I know the others?  Can I trust them?

Collaboration relies on trust.  Just like the phrase “All things being equal, People do business with, and refer business to those they know and trust”, people also collaborate with people they know, like, and trust.

So how do you eat an elephant faster?  Start collaborating with others.

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Gary Patton

Chief Connecting Officer at On Purpose Leadership
An Accomplished Business Consultant with over twenty-five years of experience in sales, management, training, and operations, Gary has worked with over 2,000 businesses to design and implement solutions to significantly increase their market share, customer service, revenue, and profitability.
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