Daily D – Ecclesiastes 4:9
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. ECCLESIASTES 4:9 (NLT)
A friend from afar asked for coaching. He’s a good man facing interesting shifts and transitions. He is by nature cautious and careful. He does not get in a hurry in making up his mind or in making changes.
This coaching session was different from most. My coworker Becky was also on the call. We tag-teamed the session. If we were the kinds of coaches who charged the going rates for our services, he would have been set back several hundred dollars for our hour together. Since we provide coaching services as part of our roles, we do not have to charge, especially not our partners who would have a hard time coming up with that kind of dough.
Our conversation worked around familiar territory. Becky and I have each coached this friend regarding these same issues on several occasions before. He has made incremental progress over the last half-dozen years. There is new urgency for change, however. Focus on the most relevant issues is more important than ever. He wanted two minds rather than one. This is wisdom.
Becky is a world-class coach. In fact, she’s pretty well world-class at whatever she does. She’s the one I go to most often when I need to process a thought. I am a pretty good coach myself. Just ask me. However, my best work is done with teams and groups, not individuals. Becky sees, hears, and senses things I do not. Some of the best coaching I do is to stay out of her way or to set her up to step in at opportune moments.
The three of us on the Zoom conference call had a pleasant and productive conversation. The thoughts our friend had been ruminating on were drawn out, examined, processed, and refined. The clarity he was developing before the call accelerated. He has a much better idea of what to do next, when, and how.
Working with Becky in this situation was helpful to our friend and to me. The three of us made much more progress than our friend and me alone would have.
The best leadership, the best coaching, the best training takes place with a partner. Just about everything is better with a partner or a team. I am halfway through a book about a spy who is a world-class operator. He has been there, done that, in all kinds of situations before. He is in another impossible situation working his way to completing his most challenging operation yet. He will succeed. I know this because there is a new book in the series.
This James Bond kind of operator cannot survive on his own. So far in the book he has survived because of a dead man, a widowed doctor, hunters returning home, and a folk medicine practitioner far from civilization. There is a team of operatives speeding toward him having received his cryptic message that he is in ultimate danger.
Even spies in novels need the assistance of others to succeed.
The old African proverb is true: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
If you want to experience more success, work together with a trusted partner or team. Use all the brains you’ve got and all you can borrow.
Just a reminder about who wrote this Two-Are-Better-Than-One thing. It was the wisest man who ever lived. If he required the additional perspective of a friend or two, how much more you and me?
I will avoid working alone as much as possible.
Our Father, thank you for surrounding me with wise and thoughtful people. Some are fast, others are slow. Some are deep, and others are decisive. I need them all to operate at my best. Thank you for giving us one another. Empower us to work together in a manner leading to more and more success to honor you and to serve others. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“