For a particular writing assignment I enlisted the support of an associate. I had worked with her before so I knew she was both skilled and professional. However, during the project I realized we had a different perspective that undermined our ability to work together. My focus was on the customer. Hers was on the project. I wanted the customer to be satisfied with the end product and I was willing to bend over backward to accomplish that. She wanted to complete the project in a timely fashion and get paid. Her approach was perfectly legitimate. And so was mine. But the difference affected our collaboration. I had to insist on work she hadn’t anticipated and didn’t want to do. Ultimately, we completed the project. The customer was satisfied but not thrilled. And I was going for thrilled. I learned through this the importance of shared values. My ideal is to collaborate with associates that share my perspective. However, it’s my responsibility to determine this. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t work with a project-oriented person. But when that’s the case, defining the scope of the project and clear communication of expectations becomes more important.


Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter, published author, playwright and pastor. He publishes drama at, books on, and articles on his blog.

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