Leadership: More then the Sum of its Parts

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike reminds us leaders in training that companies can create something greater then just “the some of its parts.”  Put one smart person in a room and you get great ideas.  Put two smart people in a room and you get more then double the number of great ideas (e.g., ideas for each smart person PLUS the ideas they generated together).  Even Steve Jobs would have not been Steve Jobs without Apple co-founder Steve Wozinack. Pixar would not be Pixar without Dr. Ed Catmull and John Lasseter. Finally Apple will move forward with a deep leadership team running the show.


Dr. Dan-o


To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

A friend recently shared with me Roger Nierenberg’s book, Maestro.  In it, through the metaphor of music and orchestra, we learn great lessons in leadership. Through a simple team-building rock game we are invited to step back to observe how alignment around a shared-purpose brings people, teams and organizations together.

“Everyone starts with two rocks on the floor in front of them.  There’s a four-step process.  One, you pick up the rocks, Two, you click them together. Three, you place them in front of the person on your left.  Four, you clap your hands.  Then you pick up two new rocks and begin again. You do all of this in a rhythmic way, so that a steady pulse in generated.  The rocks move around the circle in a clockwise direction.  The laughter comes when things inevitably break down, as people go at different speeds or can’t create a steady pulse.  Once the flow is broken, rocks will start to pile up in front of one person who can’t possibly manage to get rid of them, leaving the next person with no rocks at all.”

Nierenberg says that there are moments when the game is played when magic happens.  When the game starts, he acknowledges, people are focused on their own movements. As momentum builds they begin to sense and feel a common flow that is developing between themselves and others: “Your attention is no longer on just your own job, but equally on that of somebody across the circle.  You are just as connected to the rocks that are approaching you as the ones that are in your hand.”

“A rhythm develops and the players no longer feel like their actions are the source of the pulse, but rather the rules is the source of their actions.  The circle becomes more than a collection of individuals and through the unity of the pulse it turns into a seamlessly integrated team.  Suddenly, what was tricky becomes easy.  No one is making any mistakes.  The movement of the rocks has turned … smooth, steady …. and it generates the most delicious feeling of community.”

The challenge for great leaders is to create an environment in which people see beyond themselves, anticipating the click of each other’s rocks, in which their own beat finds greater richness in its harmony with others.  They feel, think and act as part of something larger, and there is harmony.

Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author and poet, wrote:  Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with small steps.”  Let the beat that you establish for those whom you serve and touch be rich, lush and inspirational, becoming the unifying mantra they quietly chant and which bring them together as one.

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!



Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu 

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  1. Pingback: A Milestone Post from DigNuggetville!

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