Perry Maughmer, a Vistage Chair in the Columbus, Ohio area recently shared that he was reading The Power of the Other: The Startling Effect Other People Have On You From the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It, by Dr. Henry Cloud. When smart people tell me they’re reading a really insightful book, I’ve learned over the years that it’s a good idea to buy it right way and start reading it while it’s fresh on my mind. I’m really glad I did.
Two points that struck me early in Dr. Cloud’s book are 1) “…the neglected truth is that the invisible attributes of relationship and the connection between people have real and tangible power” and that “it begins at birth.” I often speak to audiences about how early it starts, but only as it relates to childhood memories of wanting to “belong.” It’s my way of helping people reflect on how peer influence has been part of all of our lives for as long as we can remember. Dr. Cloud speaks to it as a biological and physiological imperative. This explains a great deal about why our need for human connection is so visceral.
2) Our smart phones serve as a fitting metaphor for maximizing human potential. When your phone is in airplane mode, for example, it has limited functionality. Connect it to a cellular or wi-fi network, and it transforms into a device with exponential potential. We are capable of a great deal as individuals, yet we can realize so much more when connected to a network – a network of people who will cheer us on, share their perspectives and wisdom, and hold us accountable for achieving our own self-expressed goals.
In today’s fast-paced, complex world, there’s no need to go it alone. No need to fight biology and stay in airplane mode. Challenge yourself to engage in meaningful exchanges with others and take your life (personally and professionally) to new heights.