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Maxims from Mike - Why You Cannot Do It Alone.

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. Today's Leadership and Personal Development tip is on interdependence.

Maxim: Together we stand, divided we fall. Success is an accompanied journey.

Interdependence is defined as the quality or condition of being mutually reliant on each other; depending on each other. Pick your favorite dictionary and you will find a similar, if not the same, definition. Interdependence is what undergirds great teamwork. It leads to cooperation. Napolean Hill said, "Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset which you can acquire in proportion to your giving. There are many travelers on the road that leads to happiness. You will need their cooperation, and they will need yours."

If I can depend on you and you can depend on me, we have a greater chance of success together. If we both give our best we will discover that 1 + 1 is much greater than 2.

No one makes it to the top alone. Even self-made billionaires had help along the way. For us to surpass success and enter into significance, we willingly receive help from others; we determine who else needs help; and we provide the needed help.

Receive help from others.

The Law of Significance says. “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” We often look at great organizations and give credit to the individual. Most people think of Steve Jobs when they think of Apple. Although he can rightly be called a genius, he could not make Apple successful on his own. In the early days, he needed the technical brilliance of Steve Wozniak by his side. Years later, he needed the business wisdom of Steve Sculley. Finally, when he returned, he needed erudite engineers, magnificent marketers, ardent attorneys... he needed a unified unit. Further, according to many articles and books written about this iconic leader, Jobs sought advice from others such as Andy Grove (past CEO on Intel). He confided regularly to Bob Iger (CEO of Disney). He began Apple University to groom leaders. Some analysts and other "Apple watchers" say that one of the best strategic moves Jobs made as CEO was to surround himself with extraordinary people. Yes. Steve Jobs was the leader. But the people helped him to achieve greatness and helped Apple to become the behemoth it is today. One is too small a number to achieve greatness.

Determine who else needs help.

The Law of Dividends suggest that investing in the team compounds over time. A major mistake would be to assemble an incredible team and step away. While the leader should not micromanage the team, she should check on progress and determine what assistance is needed. In addition, organizations need succession plans. As Steve Jobs prepared for his exit, he prepared Tim Cook for his entrance into the CEO position. He had assembled an incredible team and decided in whom he would invest more. As leaders, it is important for us to provide the assistance that individual team members need to be successful. And to keep the organization thriving long after our departure, it is critical to identify and groom potential successors. Pay the price to develop the team. Roger Enrico (former CEO of Pepsico), with help from a leadership consultant, developed a senior program that he called his "war college". In it, he served as sole teacher and coach at a series of five-day off-sites and three-day follow-up workshops to assess the potential of ten vice-presidents to succeed him. This is how important choosing the right executive was for him. Job #1 was keeping the company successful in the present. Job #2 was positioning the company for future success. When Intel hired its sixth CEO in 2013, the Chairman of the Board suggested that no one had all the necessary skills to assume the top position. Rather, they would grow into the job. The board would help the CEO develop the right skill-set to thrive. As leaders, we look for those with the right potential, determine what type of help they need, invest in them, and groom them to groom others. Investing in the team compounds over time.

Provide the needed help.

The Law of the Edge posits, "The difference between two equally talented teams is leadership." As great as Michael Jordan was, the Bulls did not win a championship until Coach Phil Jackson was hired. They would go on to win six NBA championship between 1991 - 1998. An article written about him said, "Jackson, using the triangle offense, got the Bulls to play well as a team rather than just serve as a background to Jordan's solo act." The Lakers had not won a championship since 1988. Phil Jackson joins the team as coach in 1999. They won five NBA championship between 2000 - 2011. The leader, Coach Phil Jackson, was the difference maker with both teams. Of course he had help from assistant coaches, executives, other staff members, and the players themselves. However, his leadership gave both the Bulls and the Lakers the edge they needed to reach their ultimate goal - the NBA championship. On the court, as it relates to the Lakers, there were times when Kobe Bryant needed to be the leader. Other times it was Shaq or Derek Fisher or Brian Shaw. It depended on the situation. As summarized in the 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, "The Myth of the Head Table is the belief that on a team, one person is always in charge of every situation. Understand that in particular situations, maybe another person would be best suited for leading the team. The Myth of the Round Table is the belief that everyone is equal, which is not true. The person with greater skill, experience, and productivity in a given area is more important to the team in that area. Compensate where it is due." Provide the right help to the right people and watch the team soar. Sometimes the right help is great coaching or skills training. Other times it may be an addition to or a subtraction from the team. Other times, it may just be an encouraging word. A leader must know his people and provide the help they need. You are the difference maker... the edge.

Are you ready for long lasting success? It's yours. But you cannot achieve it alone. It takes interdependence. It takes teamwork. Great leaders recognize this. They invest in their teams. If you are ready to build a stronger team, please contact me. Let me help bring out the best in you and/or your organization.

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

Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO


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