I’m pretty sure I stole this title from someone else, or perhaps I saw it on a bumper sticker or on a scrolled piece of paper inside a fortune cookie. (Or maybe a campaign slogan?) Regardless of where I read these motivational words of wisdom, it sounds like something that should be universally true, right?
But not for me. It’s been many, many years since I’ve been a part of a real team, and I’ve officially been a solopreneur for more than 18 years. That doesn’t mean that I don’t work with other people, because I do. I just work with other people differently.
One of the advantages of being a solopreneur and business owner is that I get to make all the decisions and rarely need to consult, confer, or collaborate with anyone else. Yes, I have probably just outed myself as a complete control freak who also struggles with strong perfectionist tendencies. And, yes, if you have read my book, Woman UP!, you’ll recognize that these are two of the deadly sins I discuss in the book.
I have that Wonder Woman syndrome that has me hypnotized into believing that I can do it all and do it all by myself and still achieve, and hopefully exceed, the professional goals I have set. There are plenty of examples of women who are “self-made”, and I actually thought they did it by themselves. Ok, maybe not “actually” by themselves, but you know what I mean.
Being the natural sceptic that I am, and given that I have never really had a highly positive team experience, I thought that this was just one of those concepts that made a lot of sense in theory, but didn’t work well in practice. Or, perhaps it was a philosophy or new business model that worked really well for others, but wasn’t right for me. However, I am also a devout realist, and needed to put this theory to the test in order to become a believer.
I am proud to say I am now a believer that “Teamwork Makes a Dream Work”!
Last year I took a huge leap of faith and joined forces with Pam Borton, who is now my official and legally binding business partner, and we created a new company called Women ON Point: Next Level Leadership. It’s an all-inclusive, destination leadership summit for executive women.
Pam, being a former Division I basketball coach and now ICF executive coach, is all about the team. Whether it’s a sports team or an executive team, Pam lives, breathes, and preaches the power of a strong team. She understands how important it is to surround yourself with quality people who possess diverse skills sets and a variety of strengths.
Again, I fully support this philosophy and have seen the successful results with countless other teams. All of my clients work on teams, and I’ve facilitated many team building activities. I have witnessed first-hand the benefits of a cohesive and well-bonded and balanced team, and I have also coached plenty of clients on how to navigate the perils of a highly dysfunctional team.
The team dynamic is one of those professional intangibles that can make or break your career.
Perhaps that’s why I haven’t actively pursued or accepted an invitation to join a team before. There is risk involved. There are relationships to manage. There are expectations to meet. There are disappointment and conflicts to be had. There are compromises to be made. There are decisions to be discussed. There is vulnerability on the line. These are all true.
But what is also true, and what I have fully come to realize because it has finally happened to me, is that success, fun, fulfillment, joy, growth, surprise, change, release, maturity, learning, surrender, development, expansion, deepening, trust, faith, belief, leadership, following, reward, collaboration, and elevation can also happen when you’re on the right team with the right people doing the right things.
Last week, we held our second Women ON Point leadership summit in Chicago and it was an enormous success. We heard from many of the participants that the experience was “life-changing”. I consider myself a subject matter expert and keynote speaker who can walk on any stage at any time and deliver a powerful message, but I know without a doubt that I could have NEVER created the unique Women ON Point experience all by myself.
I could have dreamed about it, thought about it, talked about it, but the dream would have NEVER become a reality with my team: Pam, Amy, and Sara.
Thank you, Pam, for being a constant source of inspiration, for being a fearless leader and extraordinary visionary, and for always being such a positive role model and supportive friend. Thank you, Amy, for being so well-organized and detail-oriented, for keeping all of us on track, and for your infectious laugh and constant reminder that fun is a top priority. And thank you, Sara, for being a constant ray of sunshine and burst of energy, for always leading the dance party, for your ability to cultivate relationships with absolutely anyone (even in the bathroom), and for your ability to dream big and make s*** happen.
Thank you all for making me better, braver, and a true believer.
I have been extremely fortunate, have worked very hard, and have experienced a tremendous amount of success in my career, but I whole-heartedly believe that everything can be magnified, that everything can go to the next level, and that success can be even more infinite and exponential when you’re part of the right team. I also believe you’re never too old, or too set in your ways, to change, grow, and learn.
Don’t take my word for it…If you’d like to see this dynamic team in action, our next leadership summit will be held at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek, Colorado, from October 12-14, 2016. WE – not just I – would love to see you there and have you join this group of exceptional women from all parts of the country representing every industry. Come celebrate with us and be part of a team that’s all about empowerment, collaboration, and women supporting women. Because there is great strength in numbers:
Come celebrate with us and be part of a team that’s all about empowerment, collaboration, and women supporting women. Because there is great strength in numbers: individually we are all amazing, but collectively we are truly unstoppable.