Teamwork only takes you so far in the corporate world. Learn to tackle more independently and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful soloist, according to Marc Hershon, co-author of the new book, I Hate People!, who offers these tips:
Know when to fly solo
Being a soloist isn’t about starting your own company — it’s about kicking loose of needless meetings and meddling bosses long enough to get some productive traction. Look for opportunities to get small chunks of time to yourself.
Know your enemies
These aren’t rivals; they’re the stumbling blocks and time wasters who get in the way of your productivity. Identify them and then develop strategies to neutralize their harmful behavior.
Find your ensemble
Typical teams tend to be slow and counter-productive. Too many team members (five or more) and bad chemistry are the main obstacles. Form your own ensemble — a small group of one, two, or three others — who are truly interested in your project.
Dig your cave
Today’s office worker is interrupted an average of 73 times a day. The soloist learns to create a quiet space (or cave) far from the maddening crowd. Whether it’s a “Do Not Disturb” sign tacked to your cubicle or a private office in your garage, find yourself a defensible position from which you can do your work unimpeded.
Clear your plate
We all end up with way too much to do “on our plates.” Learn to clear yours by using the Three Ds: Delegate, Delay and Deny. By passing along tasks to others more qualified (or less busy), you can focus on more critical work. Carefully check real deadlines (not artificial ones) and know what you can put off until tomorrow. And practice using the “Power of No” — don’t let someone else clear their plate onto yours.