October 23, 2009
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Power of 2
Many times, statistics-based books cause me to question the validity of its research. But, with Gallup Press titles, that’s never a problem: their research is well-supported and their track record is extraordinarily successful. Gallup Press’ latest offering, The Power of 2, continues that trend.
As our world becomes more chaotic and intense, we tend to close our office door or put on our headphones in order to put our nose to the grindstone and fix the problems all by ourselves. During their research for this book, Wagner and Muller found situations where having a collaborator made a huge difference. Sharing work can actually change our perception of reality.
When the researchers asked a person to pick up a bag of potatoes, the person perceived the weight of the basket to be lower when she had a partner than when she lifted the basket by herself. Kind of a no-brainer, but the authors take it a step further, explaining, “We plan our actions guided partly by what we can achieve with others.” Despite the logic of this conclusion, Gallup discovered that the median number of work partnerships for an American employee is four, and that 16% of the population has had zero work partnerships.
The authors’ lay out eight elements of powerful partnerships. They are: complementary strengths; common mission; fairness; trust; acceptance; forgiveness; communicating and unselfishness. Each of the chapters covers one of these eight points. At the end of the book they have short chapters for leaders and managers, along with an explanation of how Gallup’s research was conducted.
Forbes publisher, Rich Karlgaard, wrote, “If I were teaching students about entrepreneurship, I’d point out that many of the great startups of the past 30 years began as teams of two. Behind this phenomenon is a principle: Build on your strengths. To mitigate your weaknesses—and we all have them—partner up!” With Power of 2, we now we have a resource to help us improve ourselves by relying on others.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.