Ever wonder why we have different strengths? Why no one person can ever master all the attributes they need to be good at all the qualities required from a leader? I was on a boat ride, enjoying the scenery, and it struck me. We are designed for community. We aren’t meant to be masters of everything. We aren’t meant to be completely independent – we are meant to be in relationship (or team). We are designed for interdependence.
Pause… Really pause and ponder how this is true in your life. Reflect on your proudest moments, your greatest accomplishments… None of us accomplishes anything entirely on our own. Everything we do. Everything we think. It all has the mark of others. It was not achieved by ourselves alone.
I come from a long line of very capable, pioneering people with a strong value placed on independence. I vividly remember my negative reaction, in grade 12, when my mother warned me against the perils of over-valuing independence.
It was only many years later that I began to understand the wisdom in her words.
Behavioural profiles clearly show us how any team lacking the full range of behavioural profiles leaves itself vulnerable. Why? Each profile has valuable strengths. The very wiring that makes us strong in some areas makes it hard for us to develop in others. Initiators struggle with the final stages of implementation and even more with in-depth research and ongoing maintenance. Good business needs both a readiness to act and the ability to slow down and dig deeper. The creative tension between the two strengths makes for a stronger outcome.
In Chinese philosophy, the yin-yang describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
Like the yin-yang we have some of the ‘other’ in us, which we can further develop, but will never be masters of it. A wise leader learns how to build teams of ‘opposites’, recognises the strength of interdependence and structures discussion and distribution of work so that no-one’s value to the organisation is wasted.
How well does your organisation recognise the limitations inherent in overvaluing independence?
What is the hidden cost of ignoring the hardwiring of interdependence? Where can you see that in your organisation, your team, your own life?
Our reflection, on our own lives and the lives of leaders in organisations regardless of country, size and industry has helped us isolate 7 elements to pay attention to that will revolutionise how you lead.