“A single leaf working alone provides no shade.”
—Chuck Page, American Politician
We’ve all heard phrases such as:
“It takes team work to make the dream work,” and “Together everyone achieves more. (TEAM)”
Instead of responding with “I know,” “Of course,” or “DUH!,” I suggest we each take a moment to revisit the idea more closely.
Most would agree that cooperation, collaboration, dialogue, alignment, and agreement are virtuous interpersonal qualities and characteristics.
How often do you exhibit these qualities rather than preferring to be “right,” go it alone, or perhaps actually undermine the efforts of those around you?
It’s OK to do an honest assessment of the personal tendencies we all prefer to hide and keep to ourselves.
Where and in what ways can you put your personal or professional agenda aside and join the other leaves on your tree of life to achieve more of the extraordinary outcomes you desire?
“It is not the bee touching the flowers that gathers the honey, but her abiding for a time upon them, and drawing out the sweet.”
—The Mother’s and Young Lady’s Annual, published in 1853
Image from Unsplash
Pollination and making honey are the two primary jobs of bees. Most of us have seen those nature shows on TV in which the brightly colored flowers put on their spring display to attract these amazing creatures.
Upon close inspection, the journey from flower to flower involves the bee’s hard and enduring work of nectar-gathering. The fortuitous by-product of their efforts – the wonderful honey they produce – is achieved by the flowers passing their stores of pollen to a neighboring blossom.
What personal or professional projects are not progressing as you wish due to your less-than-optimal attention and efforts? Where would greater intensity, persistence, and tenacity help you achieve more of the sweet success you seek?
“We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”
—Blaise Pascal, 17th Century French Mathematician
Image from Nonn’s
Our own thoughts, ideas, and opinions always ring true for us, having the power and leverage to move us into action. We participate in that which we create.
Leadership, stated simply, is the speaking of a desired future and engendering the “buy in” from others. Unfortunately, many of us often find that those around us are not on board with our brilliant thoughts and ideas.
A useful coaching strategy to turn things around is to elicit the thoughts and ideas of others, so that all parties can buy into a path forward that is mutually desirable.
Where would using the thoughts and ideas of those around you be a more persuasive strategy to forward a key initiative in your world?
“Play the game where everyone wins something.”
Image from ericcheser.com
It is the norm for most sports and board games to result in winners and losers. A driving force for many is to beat, vanquish, and annihilate their competition.
A wide variety of collaborative pursuits in the game of life—including relationships, team projects, and business partnerships—do not need to go this route.
In fact, when we focus our efforts to realize win-win scenarios, the end results are often far better and significantly more satisfying.
Where and in what ways can you take more of a win-win approach in your personal and professional life? What would you be able to celebrate together if you did that more often?
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
— Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese Poet
A few days ago I had a discussion with a business leader who was at the end of his rope. He was totally exhausted and overwhelmed by the tsunami of work and responsibilities coming at him.
Have you ever felt that way? What did you do to stave off the tidal wave?
Our coaching session centered on his current and future use of social support structures, so that he might tackle these matters in a collective, collaborative community rather than as an individual whose shoulders were just not wide enough to bear the burden.
How can you capture and mobilize all the individual drops within your personal and professional communities to become your own powerful ocean, to move the obstacles in your path?