Commitment & Camaraderie
Building trust in a relationship comes not from golf games and dining together. It’s built in the heart, and on the field of deeds; it’s held in the commitment to transform values and beliefs into concrete actions, it’s founded on the commitments to the integrity of one’s word.
Trust and Integrity are but hollow concepts until vigorous commitments are put into place. For it is with commitment we transform promise into reality by words that reflect intentions, and actions which speak louder than words. Commitment is making the time when there is none; the daily triumph of vision over skepticism, of conviction over fear, of cohesiveness in the face of adversity.
Commitment is the willingness to take risks, even when past experience calls for caution. Commitment is crossing the chasm of fear and danger to meet the needs and hopes of your partner. Commitment is the willingness to look from the past into future possibilities; the willingness to move enough to release anger and hurt to enable our rising to a higher level, seeking to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs.
Commitment is the power to transform the reality of relationships. Commitment is the willingness to take the leap of faith when there is little justifying evidence, because one believes in the other's values and integrity.
Relationship leaders always remark that they are accused of being traitors to own organizations when they stand tall and strong for their alliance partners. Brian Ferrar, alliance champion at HP-Compaq recognizes how this bonding impacts the relationship between champions:
- “An alliance manager and his counterpart at the partner company are often closer than each may be to many of their co-workers because of the trust it takes to form the alliance.”
However, this bonding across organizational boundaries can be quite disconcerting to many insiders who see this as a serious breach of loyalty. It is from this loyalty, commitment, and integrity that relationship managers build a camaraderie that lasts for years.
Sharing Expands Possibilities
For a moment, consider the interconnection between synergy and sharing. Synergy’s goal is to attain the 1+1=3 proposition. The only way to attain such gain is through co-creative sharing. Alliances are built on the fundamental premise that sharing of risks and resources will expand the possibilities and rewards available to all.
Sadly, in a world where certain resources may have been scarce, hording is a common practice, based on the belief that hording will control resources, thereby maximizing returns.
One must distinguish between expendable resources that disappear upon sale or consumption (such as oil, food, minerals, etc) and expandable resources that multiply the more they are used (such as creativity, cooperation, and teamwork).
Expendable resources are depleted and decrease upon usage. Expandable resources regenerate and increase when used.
For example, software is an expandable resource. Using it daily does not diminish its size or impact. To the contrary, using software creates more value every time it is used -- therefore it expands. It is best used when shared, transferred and transmitted. Using this resource brings it to life. Capturing the learning and sharing the knowledge generated by software only makes it more valuable, reaching more people, and generating more future possibilities.
Unlike expendables, which adhere to the universal price laws of supply and demand, expandables are not limited by supply, and demand does not increase their price, but does increase their value.
We must be able to distinguish between expendables and expandables when negotiating any strategic relationship. To treat each with the same principles limits possibilities of expanding the realm of the partnership. This type of thinking is often reflected in contracts for intellectual property, where negotiators tussle for months and even years over ownership rights. Their hording mentality blocks them from realizing that, if sharing of intellectual property rights occurred, both sides would create more new ideas and command a better mutual competitive advantage.
The economic Laws of Expendables run counter to the Laws of Expandables, but both are true and both mutually exist in our world. The problem is that miserly minds can’t acknowledge the latter.
Accessing the expansive possibility of sharing begins with the mutual belief that “the more you give, the more you’re going to get.” When both partners hold this belief, it manifests. The general rule for the Law of Expandables is
Sharing Expands, Hording Contracts
Roy Rogers, commenting on his long marriage to Dale Evans, remarked that a great marriage is not a 50-50 arrangement. Both partners have to give at least 100%. Rogers said both Dale and he were always willing to go beyond: giving 120%. The Law of Expandables creates its own “regenerative energy,” this is what we call “synergy.”
Ask yourself the question: “What kind of relationship will emerge if sharing is not a fundamental value?” If the answer is filled with fear, distrust, or uncommitted action, the relationship will bear shrunken and shriveled fruit.