My Pi-Spective on Who to Work With

My Pi-Spective on Who to Work With

(A pi-spective is where you write about something using only 314 words)

We like to do things ourselves. If we can't do it ourselves we're happy to get someone else to do it. But not just anyone. Sometimes it will be our family or our friends. In other cases we'd prefer anyone except family and friends. Sometimes it'll be a big brand and in others a niche player.

We'd like to think we're being consistent and rational with these choices, but the chances are we're not. We can dredge all sorts of things up to help us justify our decisions to work or not work with someone. We also have an inflated sense of our own capability. When we look at another person's work we wonder if we could've done a better job after all.

We're driven to improve the work of others because we see things that no one else can. We make this change and someone else makes that change and then we have to go back and remake our original change and make sure we don't tell that someone else. Things would be a whole lot better if we were in charge. Except for most of us it isn't. Organizing in a complex world is about letting everyone make their little changes without putting everything in peril.

That said, there is still an important decision to make about who to involve. We choose to see the best or worst in people based on the world we choose to take part in. We judge people in terms of where they fit or don't fit in this world that we want to reinforce, protect or encourage. We say this person will 'be a good fit' when we really have no idea. A bit of past experience, of which memory will be a poor fit to what actually happened.

Leadership is about trusting other people on flimsy evidence. Behavior reveals intent but is hard to predict.

Image via Skitterphoto