Weekly Business Idea

July 8, 2016 – Independence or Interdependence

Posted on | July 8, 2016 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Did you enjoy celebrating independence day?  Are you an independent person?  Is that something you are proud of?  Is there anything better than being independent?

Expansion of the Idea:

A few weeks ago, my wife and I watched our 4 year old granddaughter for a week.  The plan was that the two of them would go to Vacation Bible School together at our church and then they would do stuff in the afternoon.  I had planned on working all week.  On day 2 we realized that we needed to alter the plans.  We quickly realized that we needed to work together to make the week a success for everyone involved.  The bottom line is that we went from independent to interdependent very quickly.  The result was that our granddaughter had a great week as did we.  (A little exhausting but still great.)

This led me to revisit Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  He has three habits that are part of the interdependence model.  They are to think win/win, understand others first before being understood and to synergize.  I think we don’t focus on these habits enough because I see a lot of independence but not interdependence.  Most small businesses fail because they aren’t generating enough cash.  However, the reason behind the reason is frequently that the small business owners are focused on independence instead of interdependence.

A great example of interdependence in nature is the giant redwood trees.  The giant redwoods don’t have a deep root system.  Instead they grow in forests and their roots may go 100 feet out intermingling with the other trees.  If the tree was in the middle of a field and a storm hit, it couldn’t survive very high winds.  But the interdependence with the other trees creates a forest that can last 2000 years.

I know I was not always as focused on interdependence.  In the last 15 years I have gotten better.  I know I have a way to go.  (There isn’t a finish line.)  I know I couldn’t have any level of success without my team and my clients.  My independence is interwoven with theirs in mutual success.  The business has continued to improve as I have improved my relationship with my team and clients.  However, by focusing on interdependence, I have strengthened my business and my personal life.  I am happier, my business is healthier and that makes it worthwhile.

The bottom line is:

Should you be independent or interdependent?

Points to consider:

  1. Do you think Win/Win all the time?
  2. Are you focused on listening to your team or your customers?
  3. Do you try to be understood before you have all the facts?
  4. Do you work on ways to synergize with trusted partners and team members?
  5. I would encourage you to read or reread 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  (Or you can read his newer book “The Eight Habit”)


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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.