Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Synergize-Get More Done With Less Effort, The Value of a Good Partner

Do you ever feel like unless you get it done it is not going to happen. I lived a good part of my life under the moniker- “If it is going to be, it is up to me.” There is a lot of truth in that statement, particularly if you are talking about taking responsibility for yourself. But sometimes the best intentioned ways of thinking, over time, become what holds us back from future growth. In his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey talks about three levels of existence, dependence, independence, and interdependence. When you are moving from dependence to independence doing it by yourself is what is important. Once you reach independence the next step of growth, interdependence, can look a lot like dependence to the outside observer but it is a completely different world.

Even if you are a great individual performer, you can do more by creating interdependent partnerships. I have such a partnership with Don Harkey from Galt Consulting. (check out his latest thoughts at http://www.galtconsulting.com/blog.html ) Even when I am not working things are getting done. And when we do work on a project together the end result is consistently better than if either one of us did it alone.

A good relationship is not two people who desperately need each other. It is instead, two whole, healthy people who are secure enough in themselves that they don’t “need” anything from the other. They check their ego at the door and freely bring their gifts and talents to the table for a common cause. Sometimes we use Don’s idea and sometimes we use mine, but in either case the additional input the other brings almost always creates something bigger and better. Covey calls this Synergy.

Great partnerships are characterized by high levels of trust. Instead of looking out for self interest they are constantly looking out for each other’s best interest. When Don wins, I win and vise-a-versa. When someone has your back you can give your full attention to the issues at hand rather than pouring lots of time and energy into protecting your own turf. Think about all the time, energy, and resources that are wasted in win/loose relationships like politics.

Do you want to get more with less effort? Then it may be time to move from the rugged individualism of independence to the win/win partnerships of interdependence.

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