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mike.nwankwo@apogeeleader.com

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Maxims from Mike - S071417



Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. We will conclude this week's Leadership and Personal Development tip - Synergy.

We read in the New Testament about the Twelve Apostles. Then we read about the Eleven... and then back to twelve. What happened? Is there a lesson here that can be applied to business? To education? To non-profits? Yes! It is a lesson in leadership. It is a lesson about synergy.

At the risk of being redundant, I will repeat my personal definition of synergy again (previously mentioned in earlier posts). Synergy is taking the best of the individual inputs to generate a phenomenal output. It is great to value our differences. We should do this. However, there are times when a person on the team is not only different, they have a different agenda that is counter to the goals of the organization.

Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, had his own agenda. Jesus had spent three years teaching and grooming His leadership team. They would carry on the mission after His departure. Judas had another agenda that did not jibe with Jesus' agenda. Jesus knew this and told him, "What you do, do quickly." Jesus was giving him permission to leave... so to speak. Judas was no longer contributing to the synergy of the team. As a result, he needed to depart. Let's consider the effectiveness of synergy by using a sports analogy.

The New York Knicks has many very talented basketball players on the team. They are great individuals but are a mediocre team. They do not have synergy and they do not win many games. In 1991, Duke had to face the unbeaten and heavy favorite UNLV Running Rebels. By all accounts, UNLV was faster, better, and stronger. The team was the defending champion and was on a 45 game winning streak. UNLV was a great team! Duke was a very good team but had lost to UNLV the previous year by 30 points. Coming into this game, Duke had a tremendous leader (Coach K) who had prepared his team for this major challenge. The coach modified the roster and had the right players in the right position. Duke won the game not because they had more talent. They won because they had the best strategy, considerable discipline, and the most synergy. They had to play near perfect basketball to pull off this upset and they did! They won the national championship game by two points.

Sometimes, the team that starts will not be the team that finishes. The Duke of 1990 could not compete well against the UNLV of 1990. Although the UNLV of 1991 looked the same, for the most part, the Duke of 1991 made a few pivotal changes. The number one change was adding Grant Hill to the team. Not only was he a phenomenal basketball player, he fit into the system and contributed to the synergy of the team. By contrast, the NY Knicks added great players but they are still suffering from a lack of synergy. Back to Judas.

Judas detracted from the synergy of the Twelve Apostles. He was a betrayer. There was no way he could stay on the team. As a leader, there may come a time when you may need to give a person permission to leave for the good of the organization. After trying to help them contribute positively it is okay to let people go. We must have the courage to do the right thing. If you are a part of the hiring process please remember this. Invest the time and energy to hire the best fit for the organization. Many companies use the Knicks' approach and try to hire the person with the most talent. Might I suggest we use the Duke approach and try to hire the person with great talent who fits into the synergy of the team?

The Apostles replaced Judas with Matthias. They went on to accomplish great things for their leader. Today, there are over 2 billion professing Christians in the world. What can your organization do when its members are bringing their best and working in synergy? Perhaps your team will be the one to help transform the company, church, school, etc. for the better. Lead well and be in synergy!

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That's it for now. Until the next blog....


Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO

#synergy #teamwork #team

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