In the game of poker, there are no teams.
You hold your cards close to your chest, careful not to reveal anything about your hand. Then the final moment comes and you slap them on the table in the big reveal moment as you say “Read’em and weep!”
Many of us get the same exhilarating rush when we get to do the big reveal for your team too. We can’t wait to throw our awesome idea on the table and bask in the comments of wow and ohhh and aren’t they so greats! We’ve been working on this idea for a while now (maybe even a full hour) and we’re ready to earn the mantle of “idea scientist #1” among peers.
But it doesn’t happen.
They look confused. Maybe…is that…is that hurt in their eyes? How can they not see that this is the greatest idea in the WORLD! Are they but simpletons, along for the ride of your benevolent coattails?
Nope. You messed up. Here’s why:
Big reveals are for crowds, not co-workers.
You might be the final decision-maker, but I’m here to tell you that in my experience, that doesn’t mean you have all the answers. When you have an “ah-ha!” moment and try to convert it into a “ta-da!” moment, you’re going to be disappointed most of the time.
I’m here to tell you that that really only happens in movies. In real life, “ta-da” isn’t team play because there’s no “ta-da” in team.
Ta-Da Assumes Ta-Do is Ta-Done
You may think you’ve thought your project through, but I bet there are things you’ve missed. Another pair of eyes will help you. Others notice things you’re not excited enough about to notice. They see the misspelled words or glaring oversights in your plan that you might just not be wired to see.
For me, feedback is great, even when it’s negative. Of course, I like it better when it’s positive, but any kind of feedback helps me take the guesswork out of decisions, strategies, and projects.
Besides, most of the time you probably have a pretty good idea to start with, but it’s just incomplete. High level thinking is done with teammates you trust, and trust only comes when you let others help you. No person at the top of their field got there alone. As much as I wish it weren’t true, in real life, it takes more than one Jedi to blow up the Death Star. (Side note: Even Luke had help from Obi-Wan, Leia’s plans, R2-D2, Han Solo, and the Force.)
Ta-Da Bypasses Collaboration with your Team
Getting others involved in your great idea could potentially change the idea, and I think that scares us. When we opt for the ta-da moment, what we are really doing is trying to bypass collaboration.
Call it perfectionism, independence, a thirst for excellence, whatever. Ultimately, you don’t trust anyone to do it as well as you, and that’s an attitude problem. Then, when the ta-da moment finally comes, it could be tarnished with a lackluster or even negative reaction from your team/peers because you robbed your teammates of the chance for buy in, and eventually, ownership.
Yes, collaboration is much harder and messier, but in the end, you have a team who is behind the project and excited about it because they own it with you. They are invested and are more likely to work harder to make it great.
Ta-da is a Great Way to De-value Your Teammates
In the Church world, most of us have to deal with the fact we wear multiple hats. We may have an authority over an area, but we have to leverage influence, not authority, if we want people to follow our leadership.
“Ta-da” is often a result of using that authority to make decisions without others on your team who that decision might actually affect. They may also have authority and need to speak into that decision but you rob them of that. That definitely communicates “I don’t really care what you think“ to your teammates. Good luck getting help when you really do need it.
Ta-Da is Really About You
When it’s all said and done, “ta-da” is really all about you and what you want. It is a selfish ego trip that ignores the input of others and seeks our own elevation (translate: glory).
Why do we do this? Is it because we have a hero complex? Do we want to prove how valuable we are to the organization or team? Or is it that we have our own insecurities to battle inside and we are trying to prove to ourselves how good we are?
The only good “ta-da” moment is when you get to have a big reveal as a team. But even then, it’s less a “ta-da” and more a celebration of one another. Those kinds of moments are best when shared.
Other than that, “ta-da” has more to do with our own pride than our sense of contribution to a greater purpose. But if we trust our teammates, a mutual respect could develop that will propel you all towards something greater than anything you could have asked for.
You could have a team. Players score points; teams win championships.