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Why You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

Why You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

OUR INDIVIDUALISTIC narrative is strong. But it holds us back. Almost anything of importance was accomplished by connecting with others. We can leverage who we are by enlisting others.

Eric George, a renowned hand surgeon, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist, shares in We: Ditch the Me Mindset and Change the World that in his field, he frequently sees “a spirit of absolute independence. It’s a mindset that, for whatever reason, makes people ignore the help readily available to them and internalize challenges, headaches, and obstacles.” This also extends to entrepreneurs and aspiring professionals as they “strive to independently achieve while ignoring the crucial relationships and resources that can help them along the way.”

Connectedness is not only about us connecting with others but the connections we make for other people. “Connectedness means looking beyond the self and requires us to focus on others and consider how our connectedness can benefit everyone around us.”

George identifies and examines six benefits or outcomes of connectedness:

Outcome#1: Discovering Our Purpose

Discovering how and where to channel our passions, interests, and talents to create shared value that we and others find meaningful. By embracing a wide breadth of diverse people, ideas, and perspectives, we become exposed to many avenues in life, which ultimately help us find where we can succeed and help others do the same.

Discovering our purpose (or purposes) in life is sometimes difficult. “Yet by embracing a mindset of connectedness, we can, at the very least, accelerate and improve the process. Rather than passively wait for our purpose to emerge, we uncover the opportunities that lay hidden in the potential connections surrounding us.”

Outcome#2: Create Partnerships

Connectedness helps us to create partnerships now and opens the door to more connections in the future. “Embracing this mindset helps us find and cultivate truly rewarding and sustainable partnerships from our sincere commitment to learning about, investing in, and survive the interests of others.” Successful people don’t just see others as a means to get things done, but the relationships as an end in themselves.

Outcome#3: Supports Perseverance

We rarely become successful without resolve and resourcefulness. Connectedness “allows us to recognize the full potential of the opportunities afforded to us and recognize that we can always surmount any obstacle with hard work, the right approach, and access to people who can support us along the way.”

Outcome#4: Cultivate Support

We don’t know everything, and we don’t know what we don’t know. We need to connect with others who we can trust and “who share our passion and contribute to our purpose. The more connected we become, the more we can find the right people to support our mission in life, and the more we can help nurture their goals and needs.”

Truthfully, we never accomplish anything of importance without people helping us along the way. No matter how difficult a surgery or miraculous its outcome, or how smart a business decision, success does not depend on “Me” but on the collective contributions of everyone supporting the organization.

Outcome#5: Gain Perspective

Perspective expands our minds with the experiences of others. It informs us and connects us with reality. We see the world from a “more informed, objective, and comprehensive point of view. Perspective enables us to fully appreciate life and the people surrounding us.” As a surgeon, connectedness allows him to “cross boundaries my patients self-construct against the external world. It allows me to help them see a world unrestricted by their injury and value what they didn’t lose.” Illuminating other perspectives is a significant part of a leader’s job.

Outcome#6: Build Trust

When it comes to medical care, trust is vital. George explains that he “must actively build trust through a process that draws heavily on connectedness and the many actions and behaviors that support it.” He continues:

Connectedness enhances my ability to establish a trusting relationship with my patients who come from a variety of backgrounds and each bring unique circumstances that often complicate the interaction.

In my experience, connectedness enhances our ability to build and sustain trust. It makes us more attentive to the needs and concerns of those around us. We become better listeners, more patient, and more inquisitive when it comes to the experiences of those with whom we meet. It also enables us to help others, By understanding people’s context—including the reasoning behind their actions or inactions, decisions or indecisions—we truly begin to understand how we can help them. As a result, we improve our chances of actually helping them, which only further strengthens their trust in us.

With a mindset of We versus Me, we can see beyond what might divide us and change the world.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:45 PM
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