“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs
For the total to be greater than the sum of the parts, it takes a lot of courage, understanding, an open mind, as well as willingness to respect others’ viewpoints with magnanimity. For the above observation to come from one of the most successful entrepreneurs of this century there MUST be some truth attached.
Steve Jobs, the Founder of Apple, found inspiration from The Beatles, one of the best-known Rock Bands of its time. What was so special about the group that moved the genius of such a remarkable innovator? It was their combined effort at keeping in check each other’s negative tendencies.
For those unaware of The Beatles’ background, Wikipedia offers detailed insight. However, a quick background refers to the coming together of four individuals named John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in the year 1960, in Liverpool, England. Their band earned fame as one of the foremost and most influential act of its time.
No wonder Steve Jobs refers to the coming together of four different personalities and find a common cause to work towards, in spite of their individual personalities, thoughts, ideas, likes and dislikes as well as choices. Going deeper may provide clues on how they would have made sacrifices in their own ways to accommodate each other and risen to the top. The ultimate lesson might lead us to reaffirm the statement highlighting ‘the total being greater than the sum of the parts.’
It might sound simple but the truth is much harder to swallow. I have, in my previous posts, laid emphasis on the basic component of togetherness in a TEAM where ‘Together Everybody Achieves More,’ or ‘Together Everyone Acquires Money.’ This can only happen so long as we strive to help each other overcome our shortcomings. Unfortunately, such a result will be hard to obtain by repeatedly pointing out others’ weaknesses. Instead, it takes patience, persistence, a little bit of coaxing, and a commitment to camaraderie.
To attain success in a team environment we must first accept the fact that each member is not equally competent to fulfill the designated task with equal finesse. So long as we understand this aspect and take it upon ourselves to overlook their deficiency and highlight capabilities instead, we can pave the way for a smooth communication. It will help us generate compassion and the resulting empathy will motivate others to learn what they are missing with greater zeal and commitment.
It is the leaders’ job to lead but he/she MUST appreciate individual traits, talents, wishes, challenges, as well as goals before trying to push them like a herd of goats. Humans are sensitive to many more actions, suggestions and/or changes in others’ behavior as compared to animals. As such, one should never try to push anyone for fear of creating a rebellion. Once resistance has taken roots in a team members’ mind, it will not only be hard but almost impossible to dispel, without reaching out to bring them at par with everyone else.
Sacrificing our own material comforts in order to provide succor to our teammate can be one of the most effective starting points in this direction. Maintaining an open, mutually respectful channel of communication comes next. Maintaining a pleasing demeanor at all times helps us act like a magnet to drawn others towards us. Add a sprinkle of positivity and you have the hallmarks of a budding leader. Your willingness to overlook things, actions, thoughts, ideas, perceptions and/or viewpoints of others with a positive bent of mind leaves room in their minds to indulge in some introspection and find out where they went wrong and why.
On the other hand, a blank ‘no’ or disgraceful banter welcoming someone’s allegedly immature idea will create a wedge that you may never fill by any means. This is why the wise always insist on never parting someone’s company for good. If it becomes inevitable, always part on a happy note so there is room to go back, whenever needed.
Steve goes on to tell us: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Follow your heart, no doubt. At the same time, allow others to follow their own hearts with equal magnanimity as well. The magic will happen when two or more individuals with similar beliefs and/or goals join hands together, overlook each other’s weaknesses and strive to work together, they generate the power of eleven, one hundred eleven or even one thousand one hundred and eleven.
To explain my above logic in clearer terms let us write the number ‘1’ on a piece of paper. So long as it is alone, it will remain one. Soon you added another ‘1’ next to it, the combined force of the two individual numbers catapults to eleven. Each additional ‘1’ gives it so much more power. Same holds true in real life as well provided the two individuals coming together have a similar bent of mind, focus, desire, and goal to accomplish great things that are hard for someone to achieve by himself/herself.
Taking a cue from the above two quotes from Steve Jobs we can better understand the significance of keeping out teammates’ negative tendencies in check at all times. We need to shift our attention from others’ shortcomings to their attributes, positive traits, and willingness to create bonds of fraternity, of belonging and of winning as a TEAM because there is no ‘I’ in a team.