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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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.