Some people assume that I must always have been big on collaboration. In fact, I used to be a shy lone ranger. I did things on my own. I almost never asked for help.
I had a small collection of friends that I’d picked up over the years, one from high school, one from my first job and one from an orchestra I played with. They were all wonderful outgoing people. I depended on people like that because I was very unlikely to make the first approach to anyone. Fortunately I was very good at keeping friends.
After my sixth move in my young adult life, newly divorced, in another new town, I realized that while my friends were important to me, they were geographically challenged. Keep in mind that this was back in the days before email and the Internet. Answering machines were the hot new technology! My friends were unable to give me the level of connection I was craving.
I decided something had to change. Me!
I remember the day. I was at a new employee orientation for New York University. My mind was wandering and out of the blue I came up with the idea “Today I’m going to make friends with someone.” I looked across the table and caught the eye of another new employee and smiled. She smiled back. It wasn’t so hard.
Ultimately, I got to the place of being a highly networked collaborative person who finds it easy to get to know people and make connections. I’ll share more about how this evolved in future blog posts.
How about you? Where are you on the Lone Ranger to Collaborator scale? Have you changed during your life?