The art of the start…

Are you a starter, maintainer or a finisher?  Today’s Nablopomo prompt asks “What is the hardest part of a big project: getting the energy to begin, finding the time to work on it, or feeling down that it’s over?”

Teamwork/group work has been the bane of my existence this year. My natural inclination is to take over direct/lead. I am pragmatic with most things in life (in my humble opinion). So I quickly assess situations and decipher what needs to be done.  Then do it.  However, in the democracy of group work, all players need to be taken into account. This year alone, I have been told I am “bossy”, “perfectionistic” and “exclusionary”. All the benefits of group work.

For one perfect moment, I found my tribe within the class. For one particular project, all the other “bossy”, “perfectionistic” and “exclusionary” people found each other and it was beautiful.  Within that tribe, everyone found their stride.  There, we all pushed each other with regard to performance.  There, it did not matter which role you were assigned or took on. You had to deliver at a very high level or the tribe would chew you up and spit you out. Natural selection in action. It was beautiful.

Seth Godin wrote a whole book about “Tribes” and finding the right tribe. Not just in the world of marketing but any sphere of life. This is important in terms of the people you surround yourself with.  Both at home and at work. Although sometimes at work you don’t have much of a choice. But finding the right tribe is important.  The right tribe will not label your behaviour in order to bring you down to their level. Instead, they will call you on your BS and push you harder to be better.  The “right tribe” will not attempt to control you through labels created by their own narrow lens. The “right tribe” will learn to utilise your strengths to the benefit of a better outcome. Not label them negatively in order to diminish them. The right tribe is focused on the same outcome. The right tribe understands that the sum of the parts is equates to a much better result than individual parts. The right tribe achieves flow. In the right tribe, it doesn’t matter if you are the starter, the maintainer or the finisher. You fit wherever is necessary.

In terms of my own predilection.  Other than “bossy”, “perfectionistic” and “exclusionary”. I prefer the “start” and the “finish” of projects. However, I have learnt in my working life, how to be a “maintainer”. However, the maintainer takes more work for me. It’s not my natural fit. My natural sweet spot is at the start and at the end. Those are my greatest areas of value-add.

Know where you best add value! What part of a project is the best fit for you?


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