The Collaboration ‘Mantra’
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford gave us this quick recipe for success in life. But is it really all that is needed?
Let us examine it in more detail and try to discover what it entails to keep working together until we reach the threshold of success Mr. Ford told us about:
First things first, coming together may not necessarily be in our hands all the time. We had absolutely no control over our birth, our parents, siblings, caste/color/creed or financial circumstances.
Upon entering this world, we acquired all the above identifiers and adjectives. Entering the school we found other children, teachers and various service personnel from different backgrounds that we could never select or deselect per our own wish. The same thing kept repeating itself wherever we went, from the university to the professional college, from our first job to our own business, from suppliers to buyers and from neighbors to office colleagues. We went through it all without the slightest hint of a choice.
Keeping together is a relative subject in the sense our emotional values take control of our circumstances in determining which one of our siblings take better care of our interest than the other. We quickly learn which of the two parents we can better exploit to our own advantage.
Yes, it is true, given an opportunity, all children learn how to exploit which parent to serve their own needs. Gradually we are able to identify which classmate we can get along well with and so on and so forth. We start to develop a liking for a favorite teacher/coach/colleague and/or even office manager etc. No wonder, this minor change in our behavior turns into a habit that takes over the reins of our entire personality as we grow up.
With each passing day, we seek alignment with more like-minded individuals whether in the classroom, in a sports team, in a family get-together or in business/job environment. No wonder, we decide who we would much rather work with or appreciate more, out of a specific group, in a given situation.
With a fair amount of consensus on the first two points, let us proceed towards the final ingredient of this valuable recipe. We have already come together and also kept together long enough to see some progress but the best is yet to come. So, what should we do to get to the elusive goal of attaining success?
Working together involves way more than spending 40 hours a week together in the office. It requires a great deal of understanding, appreciation, and adjustments. It demands sacrifice, compromise and above all else, our willingness to harmonize with others. The question is how do we do that and at what cost.
Let us take a closer look at this powerful quote from Lord Buddha:“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
In case of doubt, a simple experiment can prove the above point. For the discerning minds, the above statement is worth more than an entire encyclopaedia. It amplifies each one of the three components we discussed before the above quote.
The sacrifice factor is amply illustrated by the first candle to assist the next one in line to also glow. Compromise becomes evident in sharing the limelight (pun intended) to remove darkness. The element of harmony comes to fruition in the after-effect.
The entire spectrum of brightness renders it impossible for anyone to separate the amount of light coming from each individual candle. The end result is shared brightness that dispels darkness and brightens up the surroundings.
The need of the hour is to take the above two pieces of advice in right earnest and assimilate the same in such a fashion that the efforts we make, in conjunction with our associate/s, become unified. Only then we can hope to derive optimum value and move in the direction of true success.
Give credit where due, stay away from limelight and contribute more than the other person so he/she may also appreciate your sense of TEAM spirit where togetherness means true collaboration and brings success.
It may not be possible to make such a change overnight but it will most certainly not demand an entire lifetime, so long as we make a genuine effort. It is time to change our attitude from ‘I, Mine and Me’ focus on a ‘we-centric’ approach.
Let us start the ball rolling while others take time to realize how much help, support, and initiative we bring to the table. The day shall not be far when they would also realize the importance of keeping pace with you for fear of loss of this significant association.
Making such an adjustment will definitely pave the way for a successful collaboration where every stake-holder makes fruitful gains.
Your refusal to sacrifice your preconceived notions, compromise your stubbornness and harmonize your sincere efforts will be the harbinger of nothing but bad news on a vast array of possibilities in life!
TRY IT, WHO KNOWS YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!