We have all observed those who seem to fight their way through life. They put their dukes up at every opportunity to show the world that no one is going to get over on them. On the other hand, we have all seen those who seem to have the "Midas Touch." They navigate through life surrounded by groups of people that are harmoniously working towards a shared motive. This person whose philosophy is based on co-operation instead of continuous competition will not only acquire the necessities and the luxuries of life with less effort, but they will also enjoy an extra reward in happiness such as the other will never feel. Here are a few thoughts on putting the dukes down and leveraging the power of co-operation:
1) Learn to appreciate diversity and synergy. Just as every business needs a different person to run sales, operations and finance, every successful team needs a diverse group of skill sets that co-operate harmoniously. This will create a synergy that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. If you build a team of people just like you, your boat will be too heavily weighted to one side and capsize.
2) Make sure that everyone is working on tasks that harmonize with their nature. One of the biggest mistakes people make is never finding what they are best suited to do.
3) Once you have your co-operative group, make sure to set a mission that creates a motive so great that everyone will be dedicated to serve the group over self.
In 2007, we created a business that specialized in purchasing non-performing real estate debt. As their new lenders, we made the commitment to co-operate with the borrowers and work together towards a successful resolution. Our goal was to make sure they were able to help us and make some money in the process. Many of our competitors went into similar situations with their dukes up, making threats and filing lawsuits. Many of our borrowers have become great friends and we continue to do business today. I can't speak for our competitors, but you can use your imagination to speculate on whether co-operation was the right choice.