In previous posts, I've talked about the importance of having a network of trusted advisors. I've also discussed the importance of honing your DART-SOAR skills. Now I'd like us to explore one of those soft and cloudy topics that every IT professional deals with, but is reluctant to address directly. And that is the business of breaking down personal silos of inefficiency, particularly as it pertains to IT knowledge and expertise.
As an IT professional, I tend to put all the pressure of knowing and doing everything on myself, aka Team Me. I've been rewarded for this behavior, but it has also proven to be ineffective at times. This is because the incentives could influence me to not seek help from anyone outside the sphere of me.
The majority of my struggle was trust-related. The thought that discussing something I knew nothing or little about would be a sign of weakness. Oh, how naïve my green, professional self was. This modus operandi did harm to me, my team, and my organization because its inefficiencies created friction where there didn’t need to be any.
It wasn’t until I turned Me into We that I started truly owning IT. By believing in its core tenet and putting it into practice, it opened doors to new communities, industry friends, and opportunities. I was breaking down silos by overcoming the restrictions that I placed on myself. I was breaking my mold, learning cool new stuff, and making meaningful connections with colleagues who eventually became friends.
It reminds me of my WoW days. I loved playing a rogue and being able to pick off opponents in PvP Battlegrounds. But I had to pick my battles, because though I could DPS the life out of you, I didn’t have the skills to self-heal over time, or tank for very long. So engagements had to be fast and furious. It wasn't until I started running in a team with two druids (a tank and a healer), that we could really start to own our PvP competition. My PvP teammates also played rogues and shared their tips and tricks, which included Rogue communities with game play strategies. As a result, I really learned how to optimize my DPS and my other unique set of skills toward any given goal.
Do you stand on the IT front and try to win alone? Have you found winning more gratifying when you win as a team? Let me know in the comment section below.