I was listening to a Change Nation, an audio interview with host Ariane de BonVoisin of First 30 Days fame. She had as her guest, Polly LaBarre, author of the book,Mavericks at Work; Why The Most Original Minds In Business Win.
Her entire interview (a podcast on ITunes) is great. But the reason to mention it is because she said something that resonated with me – “come to work stupid.”
Now, that doesn’t mean be ill-prepared or come to work without focus. Rather it means come to work without thinking you know (or must know) all the answers. Come to work or to a meeting with an open mind, ready to hear what others think, believe, feel – then build your response. This creates opportunity thinking. This creates the ability to constantly reinvent yourself and your value. This creates the ability to focus on greatness and to allow others to contribute their best.
The reason why this resonates so strongly with me is that I believe each of us have very particular talents and strengths. And a large part of our ability to be great (at home and at work) is based on our ability to know ourselves – to know our talents, passions and strengths – and to direct our lives and work around these strengths.
Mavericks (innovators) know that if they allow others to play to their greatest areas, they will think differently – more dynamically, more originally and more openly. And that our results are based on our ability to inspire maverick and innovative thinking in all our people. Collective genuis. None of us are as smart as all of us.
So back to the theme – “come to work stupid.”
Come to work expecting to learn.
Come to work expecting to invent and go where the discussion pulls you.
Come to work ready to hear what others believe, consider, are passionate about, are great at doing, know and value.
Come to work allowing others to step up – that you don’t have to have all the answers.
Come to work encouraging others to respond in a significant way.
Come to work expecting great things will happen each day because you have assembled a team of talented and passionate employees, committed to your compelling vision and purpose.
Sometimes we feel we have to have all the answers. Most times we need to be the facilitator of the event that allows the answers to come forward.
Core to the maverick or original-thinking mindset is having a team of talented employees and a culture of openness, communication and a focus on greatness. How well does your organization do with this?
It is important to come to work stupid (open, non-judgmental, approachable, sincere, interest, passionate, open-minded), but go home wise.