We are Born to Collaborate (Even if Sheltered in Place)

born to collaborate
born to collaborate

Are we born to collaborate?

Yes, every truly great business achievement is proof that humans are born to collaborate.  As nations, tribes and families, from birth we live with and are cared for by someone.  Later, we work the family farm, business or towards an education, whatever is in our best interest, but always collaborating.  As mentors teach us knowledge and capabilities, we ascend tribal, scholastic and vocation hierarchy.  To hopefully, become the productive adults our parents envisioned.  But nobody gets there alone.  Regardless of sheltering in place or how one defines success and happiness.  Or, how obsessed or productive one strives for them; true success and happiness, both personal and professional, are rarely accomplished without collaboration with someone.

Here’s a Test:

If you think back to the absolute best moment of today, one of two truths will likely apply.

One, either it was accomplished with or for someone else.

Two, there’s someone else with whom you can’t wait to share that moment.

Typically true for today’s biggest accomplishment, funniest joke and best story.  Incidentally, these are likely the only things you’ll really care about or remember anyway.  Unless something terrible happens, but even for bad moments, the same two truths apply.

Does knowing we are born to collaborate matter? 

Understanding this principal and how to apply it in our personal and vocational lives will help us accomplish our most highly valued goals.  This is especially true for team leaders and entrepreneurs.  Even during a time of sheltering in place due to a Coronavirus or just working from home, collaboration is possible and essential to success.  This is evidenced by the throngs of new remote workers claiming they’re having more meetings than ever!  There are limits of course, nothing can 100% replace face-to-face one-on-one direct and personal communication.  And no matter how hard we try, most of us will never be professional athletes, supermodels or marry rich.  But we could be successful in those fields, if that’s our most desired goal and we work hard to collaborate well with industry professionals.  To be honest, it was my mother’s goal for me to marry rich; I chose true love and it made all the difference, I digress.  Honesty, even unvarnished or brutal, is an absolute requirement to truly assess ones’ own abilities, those of your team members (collaborators) and your true objectives.  Without honesty, innovation and success will be terribly elusive or impossible.  Bottom line, collaboration leads to significant achievements and they naturally place us in the best position to be successful and happy, whatever that means to you.

Two Examples:

Science could not flatten the spread of COVID-19 curve, but sheltering in place did, collaboration!  As business goals go, an excellent example of collaboration, innovation and honest assessment of team members’ abilities, or core competencies, is Ascend Communications.  It achieved a spectacular financially successful pivot by using the Sunflower business innovation model as pioneered by Rob Ryan, Co-Founder of Ascend Communications.  Collaboration is a key component of the Sunflower business model.  Using it, Mr. Ryan (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year) took Ascend from mired in lackluster performance, to be the largest, $24 billion, merger in US history!  This epic turnaround is an excellent illustration of the power of both innovation and collaboration.

Finally, for the uninformed that still prefer the far less likely to succeed, lone alfa-wolf approach to reach their most coveted goals, especially business goals, good luck with that.  And memories, even those seared into our consciousness while standing proudly upon the mountain top of an achievement, admiring the view and feelings of exoneration, can fade.  Success and memories, no matter how spectacular, will fade quicker if they belong to just one person.  However, the collective memory of successful collaborators, ties them together like the safety rope of a team of mountain climbers.  That collective memory will be far sweeter, greater and remembered longer, regardless if your team is in one location or spread out all over the world during a pandemic.

Few can either reach their most coveted mountain top goal, or enjoy it, alone.  Use this knowledge for more success and shared happiness, for there are many achievements and mountains worth climbing.

For more information about collaboration, Rob Ryan’s Sunflower model, family office or tax services, please visit GROCO.com, contact your GROCO tax advisor or email Hello@GROCO.com.

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