At some point in every relationship most of us think we’re giving more than the other person is contributing to our mutual cause. In such cases, if we’re unaware, we’re in trouble.

For example, it’s a doomed marriage where each person commits to giving 50 percent, with the expectation that the other person matches our effort. Eventually the day arrives when 100 percent of our effort is required in order for the marriage to survive.

The wise among us know that for a relationship to thrive 100 percent of our best effort is required – regardless of what the other person is contributing.

It’s the same in business, of course. Which is why so many cross-functional teams fail in achieving their objectives. If your project is merely one of five priorities I must deliver, then (because I’m human) I’m prone to spreading out my best among the five priorities. As well, I reserve my best where it’s easiest to give it. (And your project is difficult, by the way.)

This is why teams with shared objectives often still fail. Because shared objectives do not create shared ownership.

Creating ownership in others, activating 100 percent of another person’s effort…this is where leadership begins.

This is where you shine.

P.S. I’ve expanded on the above idea in video format by playing with something called the Arc of Alignment. It highlights the steps beyond merely establishing shared objectives that are required for success. If you’re interested, the short video comes out tomorrow and can be accessed here.



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