Each year we usually visit our Uncle Dale’s farm for a pumpkin day with our family. This year with Spencer’s broken ankle toting a cast and the chances of rain we were unable to follow our annual tradition. Most years each of my children pick their own pumpkin. At home they design a face and daddy carves the pumpkins. This year my mother in law was kind enough to give us a pumpkin from the farm but just one. This weekend was the time to carve it. My children asked who would choose the design. I told them each child gets one feature to design. Anna designed the mouth, Spencer the nose, Jake an eye and Ethan the other eye. Then daddy carved the pumpkin. Their collaborative effort resulted in the Jack –O-Lantern you see in the picture. We agreed that it was one of the best Jack –O–Lanterns ever.
In our lives we like to have control. We don’t want to share our traditional fun jobs with others. We want to choose the design and have our own pumpkin. However, as adults we realize life doesn’t often work that way. In our workplace, schools and families we must share and collaborate in many ways. Knowing that is a fact of life some of us take on the role of leader so we can still do it “our way.” It is amazing what happens when we relinquish control and listen to others ideas. When we truly work together, rather than push our own agenda, everybody wins. The people you work with respect you more for listening. You learn more when you listen and often times the project has more depth and creativity than when created alone.
So, the next time you don’t get your own pumpkin and have to share one with a group just remember collaboration can create awesome results.