Two maxims that have served me well over the years. (Part II)

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

You may be asking (or not), "Why a two part post when a single post probably would have sufficed?" The simple reason is that as I wrote the words and the proverbs came to life it was apparent they were perfect on their own, with no commentary needed. An opportunity to stay in the moment of a message that has stood the test of time - And so, Part I.

Part II offers a backstory and some thoughts as to how these maxims have served.

If you have ever participated in an acquisition you will know they are dynamic events; during my first integration I was involved with introducing a new product offering into the region, implementing direct distribution and supporting the drive to "fun" revenue targets. It was an activity that involved operations, finance, marketing and sales in both legacy companies. It was an amazing body of work as I look back on it.

With the integration milestones complete and Key Performance Indicators all green (including the "fun" revenue targets), the integration team had thank you cards made up, signed them all, and sent one to all those we had worked with. On the front of the card we inscribed:

"Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore." - Hindu Proverb

Everyone loves when the business is at the top of its game, but sometimes though, it is not. I recall a leader on stage as the business was struggling with issues ranging from adoption of new strategies to lagging revenue. At one point she said: 

"If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together." African Proverb

As I look back on how it unfolded, I don't think many heard her.

I have referred to both of these proverbs over the years for myself, and others; I am forever reminded -

  • Anything of consequence is not the result of one person but the efforts of a group of people - When you find your "name in lights" remember this.
  • Look to people who bring strengths to your weaknesses, and who think differently than you do.
  • Be generous with your skills, knowledge and insights; it will be reciprocated.
  • There is no such thing as "your job" and "my job" - It is "our job".
  • Undermining one person undermines everyone - One leader I know refers to this as a cancer that will not be tolerated, and will aggressively remove it.
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can; have everyone work to common goals and expectations that have been clearly defined.
  • When someone on your team stumbles (and we all will once in a while) lend a hand (figuratively and literally).

May your travels take you far.