There is not one human who has it all or that has a personal strength that is greater than all the rest. Not only do we need each other to be better, we need each other to survive. It’s how we made it this far in the history of humankind. As a species, we are relatively fragile. We aren’t strong, fast or fierce…but we do have a brain unlike any other beast on the planet. We have had to be smarter than the animals that could kill us. We had to look out for each other; to have one another’s back, because what was behind a person could kill them. Our species took on different roles and different personal strengths in order to survive, and today it’s no different; the tasks are just more complex and layered.
Somewhere along the way, we adopted a self-centered mindset that told us that we must do it all alone; that we CAN do it all. I bristle at the phrase, “They have it all together.” Really? When was the last time you met someone who sincerely has it all together? It’s like eating once and for all. You can’t do it. And therein lies the opportunity for a mindset shift. If we take to heart the famous line from the movie, Jerry McGuire, “You complete me,” I think we have it right.
In 2000, my business partner, Marty Lassen and I decided to become business, partners. We formed our company, Complete Intelligence, LLC. The notable thing about it is that Marty and I were friends before we decided to go into business with each other. We were warned every which way not to form a partnership; that our friendship would not survive it. Not only did our friendship survive, but our business thrives today. It’s grown about seven times larger than when we were separate entities. The reason is simple. I do what I do and Marty does what she does, and although there are the occasional gray areas we step into where we both do something, we really have very different talents and approaches to what we do. Together, we form an awesome relationship. 15 years after starting our business, we are considered one of the entrepreneurial success stories as a growing Inc. 5000 company because we don’t compete to see who is right. We both are, just in different ways. By the way, Tami and Sandy who work with us as well also are the captains of their own domain. We don’t have the skill they have in what they do. Together we are Complete Intelligence, and it’s not just a euphemism.
None of our success is an accident. When you become aware of your approach to everyday tasks you get the opportunity to “pile on top” of those personal strengths and ply your mastery. Years ago when gap-based training was more popular, it seems that’s when we drove home the inaccurate message that we want all the skills in one person. We tested the very best people in a work function, like sales, and found out what four or five attributes they had in common. We then called those competencies and tested the rest of the sales people for those attributes. Where there was a gap, the individual got trained and retested. What we found is that people became competent at the attribute. But do you want a merely competent individual or organization? Likely not. We want people to soar and use their mastery. Of course, if there is a critical skill at which one needs to be competent, we train for it and competence may be all that is needed. But mastery is more likely when we play to our personal strengths and masterful individuals create masterful organizations.
Learn what your personal strengths are and then use a good bit of your resources into being the best at that you can. I’ll do the same, and together we will create something significant.