August 2, 2016

How To Work Smarter—Not Harder

I didn’t have what some would call a typical childhood. I didn’t participate in organized sports.

I don’t remember being a part of any team, actually. I bought into the myth of the rugged individual—that a loner could accomplish anything by will and effort.

I didn’t see the value of working within a team.

Take a look at this short video (less than 90 seconds):

I didn’t know what the penguins, ants, and crabs know.

So I didn’t learn how to work within a team or group at an early age. It wasn’t until I became and adult, in a corporate world, that I learned the key to working smarter, not harder.

How to work smarter—not harder

As I watched the video, I could see how the penguins, ants, and crabs worked smarter in a group.

Yes, they were traveling together, and it’s safer to travel in groups; however, I picked up on the added value.

Traveling together enabled them to work effectively together.

  • The penguins stumped the shark.
  • The ants bowled over the anteater.
  • The crabs grounded the seagull.

Through common sense, we know it's always better to travel in groups; but somehow we lose that mindset when it comes to teams.

We sit at our desks, alone, for hours on end, buried in e-mails and social media posts.

We walk away from informative meetings with operational, but lone tasks, and then wonder why it takes us so long to complete them and so much energy is depleted.

What could happen if we worked smarter—not harder?

When we bring operational tasks into meetings we can:

  • Brainstorm alternatives to traditional methods.
  • Receive input from other team members.
  • Collaborate on tasks that require strengths outside our gifting.

When we include others in our work

  • Tasks are completed sooner.
  • People get to use their strengths and that gives them energy.
  • Companies profit from increased productivity.

And when companies profit:

  • New jobs are opened.
  • Salaries increase.
  • People grow and they become happier in their work!

Think about the video as you consider your team:

How can your team pull together to save the team and/or company?

What sharks, anteaters, or seagulls are threatening your team? How can your team come together to diminish or eliminate the threats?

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