I was behind on a client deliverable that i’d been promising to get done for about a week. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get it done, I just had other things that were on my mind and that needed attention. I just couldn’t get ahead enough to work on this one thing. Honestly, I wasn’t that excited about it anymore, but that’s really no excuse. I’d like to think I have more discipline than to let that get the better of me.
As I reflect on it, it was really vanity that kept me from completing the deliverable. Which would move the project down the road and let us get paid for it. Yes, money, that’s a good thing in a client services company. But I couldn’t seem to get over myself to ask for help on it. I felt like I was the only one that could do it. Like, this one thing needed my superior level of experience to complete it. There’s no way anyone else that works with me could handle it… Yeah, vanity, superiority, over-confidence.
Those things were just destroyed for me by my coworker, who, yeah, hasn’t been doing this stuff as long as me, but is super smart and thoughtful and could easily do the work. He looked at me and said; “dude, I love you, but if I have to keep waiting on you to get to this we’re going to screw the project up.” He asked to take a crack at it and you know what? He’s done a really great job with it. He also said that I should be focusing on the things i’m really good at and to move on to the next thing so he could get on with his job too…
It hurt my pride a bit to find out that I wasn’t special. That I wasn’t the UX visionary I was treating myself as. But you know what, it sure is nice to see the work done and move on to the next phase of the project.
I think back about all the past projects i’ve worked on and can’t help but think about all the times when ego may have kept me from letting others grow, letting me personally move on, and generally taking on less tasks. Someone once told me that we need to realize that 99% of things in life don’t mean shit once we remove our ego from the mix.