These days, people often use the phrase “staying in your own lane” to mean minding your own business: don’t tell me what to do, how to live my life, or how to raise my child.
In our personal lives, most of us have pretty clear boundaries (either stated or implied) with our friends and our spouses or significant others. Friends usually know not to push too hard about things like our relationships, our religion or our politics, and married couples do much better when they stay out of their spouse’s face about their jobs or what they do to relax (sports, shopping, gardening, etc.). The idea in these relationships is to work as a team, to benefit each other, rather than further complicate each other’s lives.
In our work with advisory firms, we use this idea of “staying in your own lane” to help owner-advisors and firm employees better understand one of the biggest roadblocks to the success of advisory businesses: confusion and misunderstandings about who should be doing each of the key tasks in a firm. This failing to get everyone on the same page leads to important tasks not getting done, wasted time when efforts overlap and friction between employees, and between employees and firm owners. As you might imagine, this almost always leads to firms underperforming their true potential.