Friday, August 17, 2018 / by Drew Nicoll
The Power of the Other
People have a startling effect on you. Parents know this. Most will fight to keep their child from associating with those they believe exhibit bad behavior. So much so they are willing to pack up their entire house and move across town or to another state, even country. They know their child’s well-being and future is at stake. Association WILL impact their child’s development. But for whatever reason, many of those same parents, and most people in general, don't recognize the significance others impact their own life.
Let’s say I want to be a great leader. I should go hang out with and learn from great leaders. How about I need to lose some weight? Well, I can shed it much easier and faster going to the gym vs working out at home. Even faster and more permanent, I cement better dietary habits if I go to the gym, have a personal trainer and associate with others already living out a healthy lifestyle.
Recently, the Broker and CEO of our great real estate company handed me a copy of Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, The Power of the Other. In his book he makes it clear the power others have over us and why.
Let’s say your plane lands, and the flight attendant says, ‘it is now safe to use your mobile phones”. You turn yours on and what’s the first thing that happens? You receive a message at the top of the screen that reads: ‘searching…’ or ‘searching for connection…’ or ‘searching for network’. Until the phone connects with the network, nothing happens. But when it connects, miracles occur, in the invisible world. The phones capabilities are now empowered to be all they were designed to be. It can now automatically download or fix bugs in the software; it can download new apps that enable it to do things it couldn’t do before.
Through this connection, all of the resources of the outside world are suddenly at your disposal and ready to provide benefit. Through this link, the phone connects you to the entire world, all of its information and knowledge, help and skill, to enable better performance. From this one connection, almost anything is possible.
The phone surpasses its previous limits… it can get bigger and better. But without a connection to the right network, that little device will never be able to do everything it was designed to do. Sure, it might still be able to tell you the time or see a calendar of your events or serve as a repository of previous communication and photos, but without a strong and steady connection, nothing new or better can occur. Without a connection the device has hit its limit. It continues to produce the same results you were producing on the plane even if you try harder.
Humans are exactly like that. You are like that; I am like that. From the moment we are born, the moment we land, a ‘chip’ inside each of us starts searching for a connection to the right network, one that will provide us with the energy and information (coding) to go beyond our present ability, experience, and performance. And this searching, this needing of connection, is not optional for any of us. It is hardwired and always on, even when we don’t know it and even when we don’t desire it. As long as you are alive, your heart, mind and soul will be searching for a connection. In others. Several others. A community that will bring life, all the ingredients of life that you need to get past the limit of your present existence and performance.
The need for connection begins before infancy and continues throughout life. If you are alive, you’re needed to thrive. We are fueled from the outside, from connection with others. Whether it’s a smart phone or a human, when the system can’t make a connection, it begins to run down. This is an indisputable reality. Humans need connection and their systems are always searching for one.
Popular wisdom suggests that we should not allow others to have power over us, but the reality is that they do, for better or for worse. Consider the boss who diminishes you through cutting remarks versus one who challenges you to get better. Or the colleague who always seeks the limelight versus the one who gives you the confidence to finish a difficult project. Or the spouse who is honest and supportive versus the one who resents your success. No matter how talented, intelligent, or experienced, the greatest leaders share one commonality: the power of others in their lives.
Combining engaging case studies, persuasive findings from cutting edge brain research, and examples from his consulting practice, Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book, argues that whether you’re a navy seal or a corporate executive, outstanding performance depends on having the right kind of interpersonal connections to fuel personal growth and minimize toxic associations and their effects. Presenting a dynamic model of the impact these different kinds of connections produce, Dr. cloud shows readers how to get more from themselves by drawing on the strength and expertise of others. You don’t have a choice whether others have power in your life, but you can choose what kinds of relationships you want.
The Nicoll Pallini Group