“One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”
– John Maxwell
This quote is from John Maxwell’s book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.
John Maxwell is a master at connecting with people one-on-one, in small groups, and as an audience. He truly understands what it takes to achieve big goals.
The big idea here is the “self made man” is a myth. There are no “lone rangers.” All successful people have a community or network that have contributed to their success.
In his book Creating Minds, Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University demonstrates how geniuses like Picasso, Ghandi, and Einstein didn’t become the men who could change the world by working alone. He shows how each of these geniuses had a community around them that encouraged and challenged them to become the great men they became.
I have been fortunate to have had two incredible work relationships with women who thought very differently from me. The first, when I was still in S. Korea, was a very creative thinker who was an auditory learner. When we collaborated, my organizational skills and visual learning style combined with her skills to create powerful learning activities and materials. The second, when I was working in Washington, DC, was another extrovert to my introvert. As we collaborated, we created a rich learning environment for our trainees that neither alone could have achieved.
The truth is we all need people around us to help us achieve our greatest goals. When we intentionally seek out people WHO THINK DIFFERENTLY FROM US, it enhances your ability to create a plan and execute that plan.
So, let’s put this into action:
- Take an inventory of the relationships you have – both personal and professional
- Identify those who have been your greatest supporters and encouragers – take time to thank them!
- Identify those who bring complimentary skills, talents, and perspectives – become more intentional about collaborating with them