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Don’t Celebrate Your Independence Day!

Ok, my friends in the US, don’t shoot me. I just wanted to grab your attention.

Happy 4th of July, by the way. I personally also like May the 4th (International Star Wars Day), but this blog is not about my unhealthy obsession with how everyone understands Chewbacca even though he only has one word in his vocabulary.

Getting sidetracked. This blog is about CELEBRATING YOUR INTERDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!

Yep, I’m working through Dan Martell’s Buy Back Your Time and he believes that building strong relationships and fostering connections are key to being more time effective. Agreed.

In my research, it has become clear that leaders need to eliminate time wasters (e-mails, micromanagement, distractions, unnecessary meetings and even procrastination) and focus on value-added activities (Financial management, Strategic planning, Talent development, Relationship building and Innovation).

Literally, four out of those five points are highly interrelated and demand that you spend more time speaking to people in a growth context than getting stuck in the details of the business.

So here’s the crux of it. In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey postulates that INDEPENDENCE is only half the battle. What we should really strive for is INTERDEPENDENCE. His Seven Habits construct demands you figure out yourself first (PRIVATE VICTORY) so that you can move from dependence to independence. And the independence he talks about is independence from outside inputs. Figure out who you are, where you’re going, what’s important to get there. And let your own inner compass guide you, not the material externalities that we all tend to fall victim to.

Once you have a strong sense of self, you can start working on the other habits: Good communication, looking for win-win solutions, seeking synergy. And that way, you can engage and build high-trust relationships, become better at understanding people and making them feel understood, and get stuff done in a synergistic manner. And that gets you to true interdependence.

Think of an orchestra. Think of the dude on the violin. Or the lady on the cello. Either, individually, will create something truly magical. But together – in sync – and in conjunction with the drummer, the gang on the flutes and the rest of them, well. When it comes together in perfect harmony, it truly is something special. And it adds up to a sound and an experience and a joyous journey that is so much more than the individual parts.

And who is leading this merry band? The conductor, for sure? But watch this video to understand how the world’s best conductors don’t really lead the orchestra. Rather, they create the space – they create the synergy – they set the scene for the INTERDEPENDENCE - that allows all the individual stars to shine in a constellation so bright it’ll hurt your eyes.

In Africa, we have this saying called Ubuntu: “I am because we are”.

Truer words were never spoken.

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