In an interview at Willow Creek's Leadership Summit yesterday, David Gergen, CNN politcical analyst and professor at Harvard's JFK School of Government quoted philanthropist Patty Stonesifer, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." A big, "hmmmm" hit the audience. Notetakers wrote furiously. Tweeters lit up the system passing along the quote around the world.
Did Mr. Gergen strike a deep chord? I would say "Ya think???"
My take from this and other things said at the conference: COLLABORATION is key! We want it. We need it. We recognize we can do MUCH more together than we can do apart. And when people and organizations collaborate, missions get accomplished, visions implemented, wealth created, lives changed, the hungry fed and the sick healed. "When the water rises, all the boats rise."
Collaboration is key to any endeavor larger than "me."
BUT: As you likely know from experience: COLLABORATION IS HARD. Why? Because people exist. Conflicts of interest exist. Competition exists. Egos exist. You exist. I exist.
So, shall we throw the baby out with the bath water? Skip collaboration.? When in doubt, "I'll do it BY MYSELF thank you!" Stay small. Forget going far. Just leave the pain at the door.
NO! Not if the stakes are high and the mission matters. So then what?
Might it be the answer to unleashing collaboration really come down to people knowing and engaging their calling? That's right: Doing what they were made to do.
Think about it? If I knew with confidence what I was GREAT at, GIFTED for and GOD-INSPIRED to do - and you did too, might we be BETTER equipped to collaborate? Might organizations with a clear calling work with other organizations with a clear calling? Doing things they never dream possible with their limited resources of people, time and money?
I'll just leave this out there for now. But I'd love to engage others in this discussion. I, for one, happen to believe there's something here VERY MUCH WORTHY OF DISCUSSION ... even more. WORTHY OF DOING!
Comment, Twitter, e-mail, facebook, or call me! I'm all ears.
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