How to increase effectiveness by partnering with others

By Stan Toler

Why do some leaders succeed where others fail? Frankly, most of the time it’s because they realize that success is a team effort. Leadership and partnership go hand in glove. One is fully dependent upon the other. Effective leaders value partnership, and they are always ready to join with someone who can contribute to a shared goal.


Two heads are better than one is an axiom learned early in life. What, then, is the next level? Four heads? Eight? Sixteen? The pooling of wisdom and ability affords a greater opportunity for excellence. Efficiency generally increases with participation.


Leaders understand the importance of good communication. They know that a goal is nothing but a piece of paper or a digital image until team members internalize it. Without the interaction of each member with another, the work will be disjointed and the team divided. Leaders work to foster communication between internal and external partners. They do not allow team members to work in isolation.


Marathon runners are rugged athletes. But they are not always leaders. Leadership depends on the ability to partner with others to achieve success. Great leaders are able to gather a collection of diverse people around a common purpose. They recognize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They reach out to build bridges, create alliances, and foster cooperation. Leadership is a team sport.


Leaders build morale and create community. They keep the mood positive. They compliment and praise individual and team efforts. They recognize outstanding achievements because they know that propelling one of the team members forward will push others to achieve more. Success is one part leader and nine parts partner.


When a good leader is credited for efficiency, he or she will always accept the accolades on behalf of others. Praising the team for its efforts simply motivates partners to greater efficiency. Great leaders create an atmosphere in which others can succeed. Then they share the celebration of victory with those who made it possible.

Stretch out your hand as far as you can. What is your reach, thirty inches? Maybe thirty-six? Now imagine joining hands with another individual, then another and another. You have extended your reach by at least three times.

That’s the power of partnership.


Copyright © 2012 by Stan A. Toler

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