Powers Of Two: Why Going It Alone Isn’t What It Is Cracked Up To Be!

Ok, I admit it.  I get pretty excited when I find a book that examines the way people work – together, afterall that is the tag of this website! Joshua Wolf Shenk’s work Powers of Two is a tremendous dive into the way that creative partnerships work, struggle, and ultimately end.9780544031593_hres

Shenk’s is just one of a growing number of texts that have busted the myth of the lone creator, as he points to examples of individuals whose previous position as the lone creator is actually a misreading of history and context (read the book and you will quickly recognize how Jobs wasn’t alone in his work, nor was George Lucas, Vincent Van Gogh or most of the people we look up to).

One of the things that I loved in this book is the classification of pairs that Shenk enumerates. Not all creative partnerships are the same, some favor one who is out in front and the other who stands in the shadows, others present a structure-giver and a content-filler, still others are directors who bring out the best in their stars. Each of these, and likely other models, gives us insight into the need that we have for others as we work (Shenk’s epilogue even points to his own partnership with his editor in making this book a reality).

For many of us, the challenge we have faced in pursuing that great idea, work of art, or new career direction, stems from the isolation we believe we will feel by going it alone. Yet, the reality is we need not seek the lone inventor/creator/designer paradigm. The truth is we all have our strengths and weaknesses. The greatest pairs often account for the balancing out of the weaknesses of the other. Why go it alone and lay your weaknesses out bear as you scratch and claw for success, when working to align with a partner can alleviate some of your major concerns?

What would it look like if instead of one, there were two?

Don’t just take my word for it, take a read of this deep, insightful book and examine what a new form of chemistry and partnership might look like in your own work or play!

Your help is needed!

While the name on the site is teamworkdoc, this site is really more about us than it is about me. Every day when I sit down to write, I think about what can truly bring impact to your life. While the process of writing is a positive way for me to get the research, books, blogs, conferences, and presentations to codify into a clear line of thinking, ultimately the only reason for this site is the desire to engage people in an ongoing pursuit of excellence.

So, after almost ten days in on the fun, I want to flip the script a bit. Rather than me pretending to be the sage with all of the great thoughts, I thought it would be beneficial as we chart the course, to ask you some questions (please answer in the space below).

Questions:Question_mark_(black_on_white)

1)      Of the blogs that you read, what type of content generally brings the most benefit to you?

2)      Do you prefer just the written word, or a combination of type, video, and images?

3)      Have you ever offered to be a guest blogger for a site? Would that interest you here?

4)      How much time are you willing to set aside when you read a blog?

5)      What one topic do you most want to see addressed here on teamworkdoc?

 

Thanks! I hope to stir up some discussion and co-create a space that challenges each one us as we move forward in our journey!

TG