10 Principles for Business Success: Principle #5 of 10

It may one day become that distinguishing factor that causes this region to be recognized around the world. I’m not referring to the fact that our tourism and convention industry is the envy of the world or our technology and aerospace sectors are expanding and keeping the region on the leading edge. I am referring to the power of synergy that is defining Central Florida. In Eric Wright’s “Up Close” with Dr. Hitt this month, he quoted former Gov. Jeb Bush who commented, “Simply stated, I believe Walt Disney and John Hitt have done more to transform Central Florida into a vibrant, dynamic place than any two people.”

The basis of that observation wasn’t simply the remarkable growth of UCF. It is because Dr. Hitt has branded UCF as the “Partnership University.” Why is that so significant? There is an old story of two farmers who entered their horses in the horse pulling contest at the state fair. One horse pulled 7,000 pounds and the other pulled 10,000 pounds. The farmers decided to hitch the horses together and assumed the horses together would pull 17,000 pounds. Much to their amazement the horses pulled 25,000 pounds together. Synergy is the hidden power that creates a result greater than the sum of its parts.

The New Math

What two people can do together is far greater than the sum of each. Thus, 1+1 does not equal 2 in the math of synergy; rather 1+1 can equal exponential growth. Depending upon the capacity of the two individuals and the cooperation element, which together is the “X” factor multiplier, 1 + 1 could equal 999 or 9,999.

The Greeks and later the Romans understood this powerful dynamic, and it explains why they were able to conquer the western world. The phalanx was a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, swords, shields or similar weapons. This formation caused the Greeks and Romans to fight as one cohesive, interdependent unit, versus their heroic, but unwise adversaries that fought as individual warriors.

Therefore, maintaining unity, finding the win-win scenario in conflict resolution and building a dynamic team approach to success need to be core values in any organization and any region that is seeking growth and success. Synergy is a universal law in which geometric expansion occurs because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Power of Likes & the Power of Opposites

Synergy is when people share a common purpose, a unifying goal and they are willing to sacrifice some of their independence and most of the credit for the achievement of the “we” instead of the “I”. Synergy isn’t, however, a union of individuals who all share the same abilities and temperaments. Rather, as most of us have experienced in our marriages, opposites attract.

I think about my founding partner at SCB Marketing, Josh Field. I grew up in a southern rural town, he grew up in Manhattan. I’m a Christian, he’s Jewish. I’m a leader, visionary; he’s a creative, a manager. What united us was our vision, and our differences complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

As our business has grown, we have continued to add partners and staff that share our passion and values, but complement our strengths.

The Mastermind Group

A leadership principle taught years ago by Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich” is the Mastermind Group. Leaders are typically on islands by themselves. However, when leaders surround themselves with like-minded individuals or Mastermind Groups – inspiration and growth occurs beyond the capacity of the individual leader. Some of the greatest business leaders of all time — Rockefeller, Ford, Vanderbilt and Carnegie —  all used the principle of a Mastermind Group.

A Mastermind Group is designed to help you navigate through challenges using the collective intelligence of others. Similarly, we have available to us in the Central Florida Entrepreneurial Ecosystem such a group in the CEO Nexus program. Entrepreneur Steve Quello leads the program to provide CEOs around the region access to Mastermind Groups to help create collaboration, gain the power to think bigger and to receive advice without an agenda.

The power of synergy is a universal principle. Consider the observation God made about Adam in the Garden of Eden, “It’s not good for the man to be alone.” It’s not good for the business or entrepreneurial leader either.

Read the other 10 Principles to Live and Work By, as well as other Orlando business news, by browsing our website.

Jeff_PiersallAbout the Author

Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines.  Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or jeff@scbmarketing.com