Stay in Your Lane

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As you are aware, I am now working full time.  I know I already told you this but I love saying it so bear with me as I say it still one more time:  I am CEO of a startup company and love every moment of my 24/7 job helping MomPreneurs bring their product to market through Crowdfunding.  I am, of course, familiar with the female psyche so dealing with women is easy for me.  I am also familiar with coaching and developing since that was my career for over 33 years, so that part is easy.  And since I managed a household with  5 teenagers, a business of my own, and a spouse who needed more managing than I care to remember, bless his soul, I guess I could claim to be a good manager as well.

And so I am working with a skeleton-crew of dedicated-to-the-concept people all of whom have the best of intentions of contributing to the overall success of our MomPreneurs and our own startup company.  While our roles are fairly clear, and responsibilities have been discussed ad nauseam, far too often, I find someone holding up the work of another to add his/her two cents, and sometimes more forcefully than that, deciding the course of action.  Frustrated with this ineffective part of our culture, I consulted my son Michael Jr.  Michael  has taken his technology-based business for hospitals from  3 employees to over 200, and from a tiny Georgetown office to a huge office building , servicing  hospitals all over the US.

Michael offered me simple advice:  Tell them and lead them so that everyone knows to stay in their own lane.

“Stay in Your Own Lane.”

And there it was.  A simple way of dealing with what had become a complex issue. Everyone needs to focus on her own expertise and be empowered to go and do and make decisions in her own lane.  Matt, the website developer should be able and allowed to design the website according to the requirements of our owner. Our social media expert should decide how we are going to organically reach thousands of people, and our finance person should focus on accurate targets and projections. Our PR firm should promote us globally, getting our names in the press, and building our brand. The videographer should create the scene based on the scripts we have written. Our operations person should be able to design processes, communicate them, and expect others to follow them. And I should lead. We all need to stay in our lanes. I should not tell the PR firm what to do, or the videographer how to shoot the 60 second clip.  I should stay in my own lane.

Sometimes as we go about our lives, we tend to cross over into someone else’s lane, right? When I am watching my grandson play in a basketball game, I am a fan, not the ref or the coach; I need to stay in my own  lane. When I am playing tennis with my partner, I am a player, not a coach to my partner.  When we do not stay in our own lane as friends, we find ourselves meddling and suggesting, perhaps even lecturing at times. We find ourselves outside of our lane, and in the lane of another, where we do not belong. As moms, mothers-in-law,friends, and businesswomen, we need to learn the art of staying in our own lane, doing what we do best from our own lane. When we are invited into the lane of another,then we can easily make the transition, but if we are not invited, we have no business going there;we run the risk of colliding and causing havoc.

We all need to be conscious of the boundaries provided by our lane. Look around, are you in your own lane?

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4 responses to “Stay in Your Lane

  1. By far, one of my most favorite posts of yours. As a young child of 10 I remember racing one of my friends on a bicycle on our street and she was in front of me. I purposely ran into her to keep her from winning. Ego, typical winning attitude? End result is that ego did not win. I suffered cuts on my knees that I deserved and that shame has stuck with me throughout my life. Not in a bad way mind you, but in a positive way. I didn’t stay in my lane, therefore neither of us won. She probably doesn’t even remember that day, but I do.

  2. Thanks for your story….yeah..we cannot help each other when we are in one another’s lane unexpectedly or uninvited…a good team member stays in her own lane doing what the rest of the team needs and wants her to do. I admit there needs ro be a time to brainstorm across lanes, but generally speaking we have an expertise for which we were engaged and should lend it and be able to lend it.

  3. I agree with a previous reader, one of your best posts so far! Another woman and I just set up a small business and we are struglling to stay in our own lanes as we grow and evolve. Additonally, I stuggle to stay in my own lane as I care for my aging mother. Now, at least, I can visualize myself traveling wildly down the interstate and ask myself, “Am I in my own lane?”

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