All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
– William Shakespeare
In film, the suporting characters are indispensable in moving the story along, building the hero’s character, and creating a rich environment. As I read Friends: Trifecta on the script lab, I began to think: who plays the supporting roles in the script of our life of business?
As a mobile worker, who would you choose to help you move your career or business along? Who would you want to help build your character? Who are the people you want to creat a rich environment?
Consider the following supporting roles:
Mentor – to help move your career or business along. Look for someone who:
- is farther along in their career or business but not so far along that they forget what it’s like to be in your position.
- has certain traits or skills you wish to cultivate.
- has professional prowess you admire.
- can facilitate your own process of learning and growth.
- is a sponsor, someone who supports your professional advancement and helps open doors that may otherwise be closed to you.
Coach – to help build your character and develop your skills. Look for someone who:
- challenges you to break out of your comfort zone.
- you trust and are comfortable being open and honest with.
- sees you as the client, puts your needs above the organization’s.
- provides you with open and honest feedback.
- holds you accountable for your goals.
- asks powerful questions and does not give you all the answers.
Peers – to help create a rich environment. Look for individuals who:
- extends your center of excellence (have similar skills but different experiences)
- supplement your strengths with those you use less
- are actively connecting to other professionals – building your network exponentially
- are open to collaborating and sharing their knowledge
- are positive, energetic, and supportive of your needs
Casting Call – How to build your supporting cast:
- Clearly define your goal – what is the plot of your script?
- What specific roles will help you achieve these goals?
- What are your expectations from each person in their role?
- Look inside your current network to identify individuals that meet these criteria.
- Reach out and connect with each of them to determine their interest.
Not many films can be carried by only the hero. Every mobile worker needs their supporting cast. Identify who is already in your supporting cast and start today to add the rest.
Your post made me think – with great gratitude – of the people in my life who fill these roles. They change over time and come in and out with certain projects a la the Casting Call category. At a time when people within corporations tell me they struggle to do more with less, it’s a refreshing contrast to find abundance in the virtual and freelance worlds. Thank goodness for community.