I move quickly. I think fast. I talk fast and for the most part, I solve problems fast. I’ve always been this way. It’s probably why I was drawn to production.
In one of my early Supervising Producer roles in LA, I took over mid-season and had to manage a team of people I didn’t hire. I became very self-conscious about my working style, a little apologetic even. The team I was jumping in to lead had worked together before and I did things differently.
For some, my pace seemed impatient. (Admittedly, I am impatient but I don’t mind that about myself.)
My introverted nature combined with my tendency to be direct and lack of interest in chitchat—aka office gossip—was interpreted as superior. (I would rather avoid drama, solve a problem and move on than complain about it.)
There were murmurs that I needed to relax my standards, that it was “just television”. (I know what I want. If I was another dude, would you be questioning me?)
Sloppy Is Second For A Reason
I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist but I’m definitely the kind of person who wants to get it “right”. In some areas of my life, that hasn’t always served me and I’m aware and working on that, but when it comes to being a producer, it has always been in my favor, even when it hasn’t been popular. Because in spite of all the noise about what I was doing wrong, my Executive trusted me to get it done, on time and on budget: to get it right.
When I was asked back for the next season, I made sure I hired people who worked like me, who weremy fit whose definition of excellence was in alignment with my own. Even though the process wasn’t perfect–production never is–that second season got a whole lot easier, downright fun even. I also got a raise.
I would have never have been able to do that unless I stopped making myself wrong for being and doing me. Because the thing about asking for and receiving help whether it’s with your finances, your team or the growth of your business is that you won’t get the help you require unless you get real about who, deep down, you know yourself to be.
That means you’re going to have to decide to support yourself first, because even though this vision of yours will serve more than just you, it is coming through you. So it is your responsibility to make the decisions that are in alignment with that vision from where you’re standing now. That means you also have to take responsibility for your mistakes and when you’re learning to lead, you will make mistakes.
Ask yourself, does your COO, accountant, lawyer, partner, business manager work at your pace? Is every member of your team working in their zone of genius? Are they excited about the growth of your company? Have you taken yourself out of your own game by inserting yourself into somebody else’s story, because you think you know what’s best for them? Are you spending all of your time teaching your assistant instead of being assisted? Are you making excuses for missed deadlines, days or bad behavior? Are you ignoring your intuition? Are you judging yourself for noticing that someone who used to be a fit, no longer is? How’s that working for you?
Focus On What You Want Instead Of What You Don’t
For this next quarter, why not make the decision that you will be available for exactly what you require? That means acknowledging, deciding, and asking for it, no matter how unfamiliar, uncomfortable or impossible it may seem.
Write out job descriptions that ask for the high-level co-creators you really, I mean really, desire in every area of your business. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone who is particular, with perfectionist tendencies; who moves and shakes at lightening pace; who wants to be part of your growing empire; and who is honored to be in service to you, and the vision you are unfolding.
But most importantly know that what you require to support your growth exists, because as Rumi says, “what you seek is seeking you”. Are you available to receive it?