This is a tough choice for emerging leaders. They see the world as “black and white” and thus feel the stress of picking one or the other.
In the early part of your career, you may choose to “blend in.” after all, you have your hands full with learning the ropes and adjusting to the workplace.
When you are in the advanced stages of your career, you think about leaving a legacy, and yearn “to make a difference.” In fact, you cannot leave a legacy unless you “blend out.”
Thus, as you advance in your career, you have to move from “blending in” to “blending out.” if you blend out too early, you will take a higher than normal risk.
There is nothing wrong with “blending out” early and aggressively. Just be mindful that you are doing one or the other.
I could have said “stand out” but figure saying “blending out” makes the point more forcefully.
In getting things done (by yourself or thru others), you have a couple of choices:
- Do you motivate yourself and others to get results today with the capabilities you/they already have?
- Or do you work to develop talent so you/they will produce tomorrow?
It is a fine balance between “short term results” versus “long term sustainability.” If you lean too much in one direction, the imbalance will create side effects, and drain energies as you work to right the ship.
Reality has shown there is no simple cut and dry formula. You have to plan, commit to your plan, take a risk, course correct, and learn from your mistakes. Purity of intent (becoming the best you can be and helping others become the best they can be) is all you need to start. Back it up with competencies.
Don’t be afraid to hold yourself and others accountable, (no guilt please).
Find a hybrid approach to defining and allocating tasks, such that you and your coworkers develop sustainable skills for tomorrow while delivering results today.