When you truly care about the work you do, it can be hard to give it away. Imagine you created a new project, and then had to hand it off to someone. Would that be easy or hard for you? What would it feel like? Well, this is exactly what we’re discussing today. It’s known in the tech world as “Giving away your LEGO” and it can be hard to do. In this episode we explore the scenarios where it happens, why we struggle to do it and you’ll learn 4 key tips to help you master this in the future. So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s give away your LEGO.
Hey, it’s Julie and welcome to the Corporate Yogi podcast. And welcome also to a brand new YEAR! Woo hoo, we flipped the calendar, this is our chance to start fresh, with our brand new goals, and brand new perspectives. This is it.
Did you enjoy the holidays? Was it everything you wanted it to be?
It certainly was for me. I got everything done that I wanted to, included my reflection and goal setting for the year. What about you? Did you do your goal setting for the year? Did you download the Goal Setting program from the website? If you did, you’ll know by now, it’s pretty epic, I don’t do anything half effort, when I create something like that, it’s going to be very comprehensive, which is why it’s more than 20 pages. I know lots of my clients have already reviewed it with me in December, and I’m guessing that some of you might still be chipping away at it. Please be sure to finish it, don’t enter this amazing new year without clarity on who you are and what you want!
And for those of you who DID download the Goal Setting program, you likely had a chance to see one of the 5 goals I accomplished last year – my brand new website – complete with a working library of podcast episodes, resources you can download AND some client profiles. I am loving the new site, and want to thank Jenn, James, Kyle and Manuel who all played a critical role in getting it live. If you have a chance, please head over to check it out – thecorporateyogi.com, and share any feedback you have, good or bad, and especially if you find any broken links or incorrect information – which are bound to be there somewhere…. No matter how much testing we’ve done over the holidays. So that brand new website was a big announcement I wanted to make, and the other BIG announcement is coming very very soon – in February, so hang in there for some more exciting news.
OK, now, let’s dive into this episode. Did you ever play with Lego as a kid?
I definitely did, I loved lego, and I still do to be honest.
I love the sound of digging deep through the giant Rubbermaid tub to find just that right piece that I’m looking for, or better yet, having the space to dumb all the LEGO out on the floor and just start sorting through everything to find the inspiration of what to build today. Will it be a house or a building? A car or other mode of transportation? Or, my personal favourite – do we start abstract, and just start building and stacking to see what emerges as you create.
Lego is one of my favourite things to buy kids, because it is creative and really sparks imagination. It can also inspire collaboration or sharing, or let’s be real – can cause fighting over the unique pieces…. Cause there’s only so many wheels that can be used, right?
If you ever built with LEGO, you know the simple challenge, there’s often a supply and demand issue, there might not be enough lego, you might find yourself fighting over certain pieces, or colours, or specialty pieces to build that special creation you’ve dreamed up. Or maybe you started building one thing, then changed your mind half way through, in business we call this a pivot, which is a highly overused term, isn’t it? Anywhere else in life we just say, “I changed my mind”. This metaphor of building and supply/demo of LEGO is very applicable to our adult experiences at work. And clearly I was not the first to recognize this, I know many coaches who are certified in the LEGO Serious Play method. And yes, they literally take LEGO into their clients and use it as part of the facilitation. Pretty cool, huh?
One of the biggest struggles I see clients face is, giving away their LEGO, and by this I mean giving away ownership, work or responsibilities that used to be theirs, but for whatever reason, often the greater good of the company, they now have to hand off certain responsibilities, and this is met with resistance.
It could mean handing off something you’ve built. Or stepping away from something that is really important to you, that you had every intention of seeing through to the end, because, afterall – it was your brilliant idea in the first place.
I have definitely struggled with giving away LEGO in the past. Because I’m a Builder personality by nature, I’m constantly coming up with new programs, and ideas and innovations. What about you? Do you struggle to give away work that was yours? If yes, then you understand the anxiety, fear, loss of control or insecurity that can come with giving away your LEGO.
Today I want to deep dive into why we struggle to do this so much.
What is the mindset behind us wanting to hold on and keep control?
And I want to dedicate this episode to a client, Hannah who I have been working with for years now, she is an amazing client AND also an amazing manager, and she faced so many challenges since stepping into her role as a leader, but she handles all of the challenges with grace and has a strong intuition to always do the right thing. Most importantly, Hannah has NEVER struggled to give away her lego, and I dedicate this episode to her as an inspiration. Hannah shows us that sometimes we don’t have to make it hard, we can just allow it to be easy. Thank you Hannah!
So here’s a look at what you’re going to learn today:
1) First, I’m going to name the common scenarios of giving away LEGO
2) In the 2nd segment I’ll explain why this causes such discomfort within us
3) In the 3rd segment I’ll share some tips to give away your LEGO
So get out of your head and into your heart and let’s dive right in shall we.
There are two main scenarios that call for you to give away your lego:
1) The first scenario – is where the scope of your role changes and you’re left with possibly half of the work or tasks that you used to be responsible for. In this scenario, technically you are keeping the same role, and even the same title, but you have to hand off some of your work. Maybe it’s something you’ve managed for a while, maybe it was something you built. A cause driving this could be that your company is in hyper growth, and doubling it’s size every couple of months. If you’ve worked in this environment, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Tech startups are an obvious example to use here. When you’re in the business of selling technology, there is an opportunity to scale the business (and revenue) in an exponential way.
Either way, it used to be yours, and now it is NOT yours. And you’re not really OK with that. There might be a whole mashup of emotions around that and it could really be hard.
2) In the second scenario – You are either promoted or you take on a new role and have to give away your old responsibilities
Let’s work through the promotion scenario – Congratulations! You used to be part of a team and you love your colleagues. Your manager was just promoted to VP, and they decided YOU were the perfect person to take her role, bc yeah – you are just that amazing. So now these other people who USED to be your peers….. are now your direct reports.
Stepping into this new leadership role means you let go of your IC (individual contributor) tasks and have to let someone else do them, so that you have time to fulfill your proper leadership tasks: strategy and planning, visioneering, leading team meetings and offsites, 1:1 meetings for personal development, career development, stakeholder management and many, many other middle management responsibilities
You’re thrilled about this promotion, but you struggle to hand off your old tasks.
These are things you built from scratch. How can you possibly just hand those off to someone else?
With either of these scenarios, you will be best served if you adapt to the changes as quickly as possible.
It’s like the John Kabat-Zinn quote, “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.”
The change in itself isn’t what is going to cause the struggle. The struggle comes from our resisting the change, and wanting things to stay the way they were.
OK let’s recap:
there are 2 main ways that will call on you to give away your Lego
1 – your company is in hyper growth, or there’s a restructuring and new team members take on some of your previous role
2 – you take on a new role, and have to give away your old IC responsibilities
So when you’re faced with a scenario to give away your LEGO, there are a few different things that cause us to resist or struggle with this change.
1. Owners mentality
You created it, you built it, maybe you even advocated for it to come to life
Either way, you are vested, emotionally and likely sheer hours of blood sweat and tears into creating this
There are a lot of Saboteur messages here that can pop up here:
– What if they don’t do it the way I want it done?
– What if they’re not as good as I am?
– What if they’re better than I was at it?
Oh – so many different things to worry about.
This is normal and totally ok. The Owners mentality is quite common and easily understood. How can you be fully passionate about something one day and then just hand it off the next. Yikes.
Bonus tips – ask for help or talk to someone who has been there before you
OK it’s time to start wrapping up this episode on giving away your lego
Yes, it can be hard, but it is absolutely worth it.
Remember, that we would never be given a growth opportunity in life if we didn’t have the requisite skills to be able to handle it.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would love to you share it with a friend, or via social media, or rate and review the podcast on whichever platform you listen! Thanks for tuning in today, and for being part of this community.
And remember that any fear or resistance you hold inside is simply your greatness in disguise.