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The Sum of Us: Fostering a Collective Mindset

So, I've got a question for you. What's 1 + 1? I recently gave a keynote presentation in Las Vegas and asked the audience the same question. The "WTH?" look on their faces was priceless! It may seem like a weird question, but bear with me.


I'm sure most of you believe that 1 + 1 = 2, but let me drop a knowledge bomb on you. The correct answer is 1. This is The Sum of Us.


In the workplace, we often approach things with an individualistic mindset, believing that 1 + 1 equals 2. You know, two people working separately, barely interacting with one another (or doing so grudgingly) and coordinating only when they absolutely have to.


But here's where things get interesting. Organizations with a healthy workplace atmosphere and culturally intelligent leaders operate with a collective mindset. For them, 1 + 1 equals 1. They understand the power of bringing people together and leveraging unity to solve problems. This is The Sum of Us.


This shift in mindset transforms interactions and unlocks amazing potential. Instead of working in silos, you have integrated collaboration. No more turf wars, just people helping and supporting each other. Problems aren't passed off elsewhere; they become our shared responsibility. This is The Sum of Us.

How to Find the Right Mentor Relationship: To develop a successful relationship with a mentor, you must:   1.     Determine your short- and long-term goals   2.     Identify the type of mentor you need  a.     Advisor  b.     Advocate  c.      Affirmer  d.     Challenger   e.     Coach  f.      Connector  g.     Sponsor  3.     Decide if you want one-on-one or group mentorship and virtual or in-person sessions  4.     Review your professional circle and pinpoint who has your “dream job”  5.     Determine if the person is the right fit by learning about their experience in the industry or role and evaluate their successes, challenges, character, and values  6.     Create your elevator pitch  7.     Specifically tell the person what it is about their professional or personal experience that made you reach out to them and make them ask to mentor you  8.     If the person is unable to serve in a mentor capacity, birds of a feather tend to flock together, so ask them for a referral to someone that has a similar experience as they do

When 1 + 1 equals 1, the workplace becomes something more significant than the sum of its parts. You know, like bundles of dry sticks are easily breakable when separate but nearly unbreakable when bound together. It's like that song says, "I need you to survive." This is The Sum of Us.


Working with a "us vs. them " mentality limits an organization's achievement. But when we focus on our collective capabilities, creativity flourishes, and innovation abounds. Obstacles that once seemed impossible suddenly become surmountable through merged perspectives. This is The Sum of us. The path to developing a collaborative culture starts with each one of us. We need to look at how we approach our colleagues. Are they partners working toward a common goal or competitors in it for themselves? And let's remember to use inclusive language like "we" and "us" more often instead of just "I" or "you." This is The Sum of Us.


Well, that's all for now. But stay tuned because I've got more coming on this topic. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with shifting from an individualistic to a collaborative mindset at work. How have you seen it impact results? Please email me and let me know.


Until next time,


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