The MAGIC formula:
It applies to:
Me, Myself and I
I’m performing my solo show. People are applauding me. I’m in my flow. I love it.
I wrote the show myself. I designed the website myself. I did all the bookings myself. I drove myself here, and I’ll drive myself home. I get all the money.
I’ve been a solo performer for years. I love it – ultimate control. My own boss; anyone in the same position will recognise how addictive it is.
However, there have been times in my life when I worked in a team to produce a performance. It was a different experience. At times frustrating, but also hugely creative and rewarding – bouncing ideas off of each other led to new directions that would never have been possible if I had been working on my own.
The same has been true in business. Whenever I have worked in a team, there have been frustrations but also much greater creativity.
More than the Sum of the Parts
I have come to recognise that I need both. I am a natural introvert, but I need the stimulation, input and resources that other people provide. It is a question of finding the right balance. As a natural soloist, my tendency is to try to do everything myself, but that is simply not possible.
There will always be other people that can do certain things better than me. And I really should delegate to them. There will be others who can sharpen my ideas. I really should be brave and share my tentative thoughts with them so that they can become better ideas.
Have a think about yourself. Do you gravitate towards working with other people, or by yourself?
Is There Fear Here?
Have you got the balance right? If you are a natural solo performer, what is holding you back from working with others or delegating certain tasks?
Is it the fear of responsibility for others mistakes? Fear of hooking in the wrong freelancer, and having some wasted expense? Fear of looking silly when you share your ideas with others?
Yes, you are more nimble when you are solo, but you are also limited. Are you missing out on the benefits of working with the team, because you are afraid?
Finding the Balance
Of course, working with others is not always the best way to go. We have all been in team meetings that have been a real waste of time. There is the ever-present danger of talking and not doing anything.
Recently I was a student on ACEVO’s New and Emerging Leaders training run by the excellent Kevin and Rita of First Position Performance Development. One of the sessions looked at meta programmes, those patterns inside of us that drive us to work in particular ways. One of them was the independent/ co-operative programme. We may naturally prefer to work by ourselves, tend towards working in a team, or we could sit somewhere in the middle, in the proximity zone: working with a group but maintaining our own autonomy and ownership of projects. I think this is where I am at the moment.
Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right balance for you, but consider pushing yourself slightly out of your comfort zone. Despite how annoying others can sometimes be, humans are naturally community animals, and we do need each other.
God grant me the serenity
to accept that sometimes I need to work with others;
the courage to work by myself when necessary;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Get a MAGIC Boost!
– Finding your motivation
– Getting organised and focussed
– Preparing for a tough conversation
– Getting ready to lead a team meeting
– Preparing for a speech or presentation