One definition of synergy is the cooperation of two or more people to create something greater than the sum of the individuals.
That’s what I think Lead Change Group is all about – creating something bigger than what any one of us can do on our own.
In a recent article, Becky Robinson of Weaving Influence asked How Can A Leader Of A Virtual Team Express Servant Leadership?
In the post, Becky highlights being available, encouraging her team, and creating opportunities. While these are all powerful ways to be a leader, I think the best synergy, and thus leadership, is created when we are challenged to grow outside our comfort zone.
My most powerful growth as a leader has been when I have been challenged to do something that I know I can never do. With the help of others, again there is that notion of synergy, I have been able to push through challenges that baffled me.
People that I have mentored tell me that over and over again I asked them to do things that in their heart of hearts they could never do. Every time, they found a way to do what it was that they thought they could not do. It was my belief combined with my connection to these people that let them overcome their fears and move into their next challenge.
Practical Ways To Create Synergy
What are the practical ways that you can create synergy in your community? Here are a few ideas:
- Connect – There is a leadership maxim – connect, then forward. Until there is trust between two people, there is no chance for synergy or growth. You have to put the in the time and effort to a relationship so that you can connect. What are you doing today to connect to those you lead?
- Shared Vision – As Jim Collins tells us in his book Good To Great,getting everyone on a team pushing in the same direction is how we overcome challenges. He compares it to pushing a flywheel. For a long time nothing happens, but when sustained effort is made in the same direction, the flywheel eventually breaks free. There is deep connection in having everyone pushing together towards the same vision.
- Challenges – Life is full of challenges. Helping someone overcome his or her challenge or working together to rise to a great challenge creates fabulous synergy and connection.
- Control – Put you and your team in a situation where you are not in control. One of the reasons I love sailing, especially across oceans, is that all you have is your boat and the people with you. Everything depends on you creating synergy together to overcome whatever comes up. While you might not want to go to this extreme, find ways to take those you lead into situations where you have to work together as a team in order to respond to circumstances beyond your control.
In work and in life we create something magical when we are challenged to work together. When people are growing together, there is indeed synergy creating something special and much greater than the individuals involved.