By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help strengthen your ability to lead with others. Reading time: 2:47
Quick quiz. For an effective partnership, how much of an investment in more than financial terms should each partner make: 50-50 percent sounds about right, doesn’t it? Not to a leader like General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the United States and its allies to victory in the Desert Storm in 1991.
Forget the quid pro quo 50-50 (percent) focus that by definition places limits on each partner’s investment in time and attention to the business at hand.
Instead think 100-100 percent total commitment from both partners, advises Schwarzkopf.
Think of your business partnership as if it were a marriage. Your business marriage demands total and complete attention to each other. Your business marriage demands a 10-fold increase in attention from both partners for each and every product or service given birth through this union.
At least that’s the way Schwarzkopf sees it. He compares a partnership in business to a partnership in marriage. “Marriage is not 50-50 (percent) . That’s baloney. It’s 100-100 percent. And in raising kids it’s 1000-1000 (percent)!
That’s because both partners take FULL responsibility for their marriage. They are BOTH held responsible and accountable for their own personal behaviors, for the behaviors of their respective partners and for the behaviors of their children.
No partner can delegate their responsibility to the other. No partner can defer completely to the other on the basis of a lack of expertise, knowledge or experience in a given area. They are both accountable. They are both responsible. They are both liable.
Standing Up for Freedom at the Statue of Responsibility
No wonder Viktor Frankl, the author and professor of psychiatry, advocated supplementing the Statue of Liberty on the east coast with a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast. “Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it lives in terms of responsibleness,” Frankl observed.
With that kind of responsibleness, the most accountable leaders are quick to invoke Schwarzkoft’s famous Rule 13: “When placed in command, take charge.” They take charge not only of the business at hand, but they take charge of themselves and they take charge of each other, knowing that business can only march forward when the partners are marching in tandem. Together.
And when opportunity knocks, they BOTH open the door, answering the call of Alexander Solzhenitsyn for collective responsibility. In accepting the Nobel Prize,Solzhenitsyn said : “The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.”
That making everything the concern of all, that embedded sense of commitment is the crux of every successful initiative for BOTH partners. Neither waits for the other to take the lead. They both assume the lead and then work out their plan together on who does what but at no time do they distance themselves from each other based on their tasks. No matter what work they are doing individually, they are always leading. Together. Collectively. Responsibly.
Dedicate 100 percent commitment to a partner to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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