At a conference once, I heard someone ask Lisa Oz, Dr. Oz’s wife, what it was like to work with her husband. She laughed, and said “My husband loves to work. And I knew that if I didn’t create a scenario where I was working with him, then I’d never see him. So that’s what I did.”
I can relate, because Stephen works a lot. He’s so talented, both creatively and business-wise, that at first I didn’t know how I could contribute. I really wanted to be a part of what he was doing, but I didn’t see right away what he needed from me.
Fortunately, though, it didn’t take long to figure out. My forte is mindset, and creative types especially need help in that department. Early on, I began coaching Stephen, and he came to rely on me for it. He’d come to me (sometimes daily), saying “I need a shift, I need a new perspective, what do I need to do?” We’d talk, and then he’d go off and take the actions he needed, and voila. His business has skyrocketed.
We created this wonderful synergy. Together, we were able to build something that neither of us could have done on our own.
What is synergy, exactly? It’s the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There are some mind-blowing examples, especially in nature. Did you know that two pieces of wood can hold more than twice the weight of just one? Or that, according to Dave Ramsay in Entreleadership, an individual Belgian horse can pull about 8,000 pounds, but when you pair two Belgian horses, they can pull 20,000-24,000 pounds?
What’s more, if you train two Belgian horses together, the effect is multiplied: together, they can pull 32,000 pounds. Two horses, doing the work of four, even though it seems to defy physics.
It happens every day. A team of coworkers accomplishes something incredible. A relationship helps both people thrive, and maybe even their businesses. That relationship can be anything: parent-child, mentor-mentee, friends, spouses, boss-employee.
In real synergy, each person is appreciated and valued for what they’re contributing. That can be a reward in itself, and that may be one reason the results are so much higher than expected – when someone feels valued, they’re happier, more inspired, more productive.
Where in your life can you cultivate synergy?
Is it your team at work? Your marriage or relationship? Is it a creative project you’re working on, or a business venture?
Often, in a positive relationship, you’ll find that synergy is already happening. How can you increase that?
If you’re in a leadership position, you can cultivate synergy by seeking out each person’s individual strengths, andassigning tasks that allow those to shine. Try it just for a week—your team’s results could amaze you.
If you’re dealing with a not-so-positive relationship, looking for ways to enhance synergy can be a way to find harmony. What are their strengths, and what are yours? What is that person good at? How can you work together to get the result you want? How can you shift the dynamic so it draws on your strengths, and theirs?
Comment below with your stories about synergy, and where you’re working to create it in your life!
Then go out, synergize, and shine.