Thursday, December 3, 2009

Myth-Busters: Independence

From the time we are born we long for independence – we want to walk on our own and ride the bike without the training wheels. As we get older, the images of independence change – driver’s license, living on our own, surviving financially without those convenient calls home for cash. We want to do it all and we want to do it all on our own. But independence can only take us so far.

The quest for independence omits one important fact – we can’t possibly do it all on our own. We don’t have the know-how to do it all. We don’t have the resources to do it all. We don’t have the time to do it all. Any kind of real success is going to take help. We need other people.

This is not a sign of failure or lack; it is an admission of truth. It is an acceptance of who we are and where we want to go. As soon as a business begins to grow, the business owner knows that he’s going to need help. He can’t be responsible for generating all the sales, making all the sales calls, handling all the manufacturing, juggling all the accounting and fiscal responsibilities while, all the while, holding the vision for the company and its leadership.

Not only can he not do all of those things, he can’t possibly do them all well. He recognizes the need for a talented sales person or a bookkeeper with a knack for numbers. By hiring people who have those talents, he’s free to focus on what he’s best at.

In high school and college, students move from teacher to teacher. The science teacher/professor is not the one to go to for English composition and the English professor probably isn’t the best source for questions about calculus.

Yet, we are often unrealistic when it comes to our own capabilities and we tend to beat ourselves up when we need to reach out and ask for that dreaded ‘h’ word, help.

In many aspects independence is enough, however, if we want to reach beyond what we are individually capable of, we need to strive for interdependence ­– a state where independent people depend on one another. My strengths augments your weaknesses and vice versa. My passion and interest compliments yours.

Together we can do things that would have never been possible on our own.

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