“Ale, you can do this your way if you want, but you’re doing it wrong.” said my manager. She was not happy, yet she wasn’t really fighting me.
“Great, I’ll prove that my system works, then we show the team and have them work like me, right?” I replied in my stubborn tone. I have one, yes.
My boss sighed and shook her head slowly as she rolled her eyes and smiled tiredly. “You try, but if you fail, you will have to do it my way. Deal?”
Of course I accepted. I was at the top of my career back then, totally mastered the role I held for years. I was the top performer half of the times every fiscal year, “President’s Club” winner and all of that. I was at the top indeed…and so I didn’t think I could be doing something wrong. The Company celebrated my success and recognized my talent. Everyone on my Team came to me for advice. How I could I be wrong? I had a system. I had a method.
And of course, I failed. My so called method didn’t work out and I ended up not delivering for 3 quarters in a row. At the end I had to change what I was doing so I went to my boss who was gracious enough not to say “I told you so”. Instead she said “Talk to the Team. Show them even you need help sometimes”.
You see, in a Corporation there is stuff you can do and stuff you just can’t do. One of those things you can do at your own risk is go against the tide. One thing you can’t do or rather shouldn’t do is do it alone, do it without reason or just be stubborn (like me) about it. If you leave your Team out of it, chances are you will end up failing. If you ditch your sponsor or don’t let your manager in, you’ll probably just not get there.
You might be at the top of your career, you might have developed your own system or method and you might feel your Team is there for you, but the minute your head gets too big, the Corporation will strike back. It is not about proving you wrong as much as it about things work a certain way in every Company and the bigger it gets, the less wiggle room you get. Processes and stuff that’s meant to be one way will not change just because you have a method. Your system might not work if it’s not properly translated into results and you might end up in the bottom of the pit instead of at the top of the game.
If indeed your system is that good…share it. Try it out with other people from your Team. Do not save it just for you. If you do so, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re trying to get everyone to work like you, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re keeping your recipe for yourself, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re not listening to those that know more than you do about things that work and things that don’t work, you’re doing it wrong.
Best way to stop doing it wrong? Try doing it the other way.