The Power of AND
Jim Collins in his book Good to Great makes the point that the great companies all had CEO with this one thing in common... they were humble & willful, modest & fearless. He compares them to President Lincoln, personal humility & willful strength to get it done. Now if only I could find a candidate with that fabulous combination of seemingly opposite characteristics. But it does make me evaluate candidates with a different set of criteria. Do I see them as an either OR personality, or do they posses that elusive & within their soul...
Another great story Collins tells is of Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was imprisoned for 8 years in the "Hanoi Hilton" prison of war camp. Stockdale managed to survive because he believed 2 seemingly contradictory things at the same time (again with the contradictory &). He retained faith that he would prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties & he confronted the most brutal facts of his current reality, whatever they were.
Businesses that do this become great. They know what is wrong and see clearly what they need to correct & they know that they can overcome it and become great at some undetermined point in the future. I think countries and political parties and ordinary people can use this "Stockdale paradox" to motivate them to make the necessary changes to become great.
The power of &...
So many times we think things are __________ OR ________, when in reality we need the &. We don't need a country that is Republican OR
Diet & exercise, good & plenty, peanut butter & jelly, freedom & responsibility, give & take, push & pull, tastes great & less filling, saving & spending wisely, helping others & taking some time for yourself, cream & sugar. So many things are better with the & in the middle instead of the OR.
We need to stop focusing so much on the OR these days and embrace the & whenever we can. We have a good country, but let's be totally honest, it has flaws. And there are some big ones that need hard work and someone tough enough to take on that job.
Let's take an honest look at our challenges without the blame game (which takes a lot of humility) and see what lies before us & let's unwaveringly believe that we can do it, that we will prevail, that we will take our lives and the lives of other Americans into the GREATness that is in our future.
OK, got to go off to the gym to face the brutal facts & the harness the power of hope for a smaller jean size tomorrow. Now that is the power of the & at work....