Nature lesson 3: Go symbiotic

My rant session wasn’t going very well. There I was, explaining away the causes of my struggles in an area or the other – not quite sure what it was – but my friend pointed out that the solution had been staring me in the face all along.

“No man is an island”, she said. Instead of grappling with it all by myself, I could have sought help.

We love being lone rangers

Why do we always try to go it alone? Is it ego or because of all the glamorized success stories we are fed? Or maybe a bit of both?
Nature abounds in symbiotic relationships.
Clownfish clean sea anemones. Birds pollinate flowers.

 Nature abounds in mutually beneficial relationships. Can’t we emulate nature and work on Win/Win propositions? 

I’m sure you know we can, and actually, we do.

Reality check

This wouldn’t make for compelling headlines, but indeed the reality is that although there may be one public figure behind a company, the vision and execution rest on many shoulders. 

Tesla, for instance, isn’t just Elon Musk’s brainchild. It’s more complex. There is a team of co-founders involved. The same is true for Facebook, or Apple.

Below, 3 ways we can go symbiotic.

The dual partnership

It’s the minimalist team. Typically the inventor and the investor, or the visionary and the executive with the know how to bring the vision to life.

Matthew Boulton and James Watt contributed to ushering in the Industrial Revolution in Britain with Watt’s new and improved steam engine and Boulton’s financial backing.

By co-founding Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen contributed to another revolution: personal computing. They were both programmers. Paul Allen reportedly commented on how they complemented each other

If the operation is successful and grows then the team can also grow. And that’s an opportunity to keep in the spirit of  symbiosis 

The symbiotic team

A look on the twittersphere at the time of writing this post made it seem like my point of view may not be shared by the majority of connoisseurs.

However, I will still say this:

I am so grateful for the day I was introduced to Myers & Briggs Type Indicator.

For the first time, I felt I had taken a personality test that really articulated my inner workings in a way that made me feel not so odd.

It also opened my mind to the possibility of cohesive diversity within a team, a symbiotic team (Is there such a thing? ☺)

I could review 15 other personality types and understand them better, communicate better with them and draw the best from them too.

Granted, I didn’t study my colleagues and associates to put this to the test. But it doesn’t take a lot of observation to notice that some people are naturally more pragmatic, or result driven, some are more creative, problem solvers, some are good at leading, visionaries, some at helping teams to be cohesive, they help morale, etc…

We need a good mix for a team to be the most effective. If we just do what we’re inclined to do (hire peeps like us), we’re aiming for imbalance. Unwittingly.

But going symbiotic as a company is also very interesting

The symbiotic company

It’s very old hat to think of other companies only as competition.

It seems to me that the only options routinely considered are either:

Strive to be number one by developing the best offer.

Buy out the competition.

But there is another way: Joint venturing (Is that a verb? Well it now is! ☺)

According to Bain & Company research, Joint ventures are getting popular, as they are shown to be a very cost effective way of developping business.

In fact, it’s a myth that solopreneurs are totally on their own. No man is an island. we’re archipelagos. We all need a network, At the very least our suppliers, advisors.
Think of YouTubers, Online marketers… They all collaborate. Instead of just sharing the pie, they expand it.

So think of a trait you wish you had or an audience you wish you could reach. Is there a competitor you can reach out to and work out a mutually beneficial deal?

It might be what you need to level up!

Reflect, Redefine, Rise.


Singer, songwriter, content creator, author. Enamored with all things creative. #HustleSustainably #MakeHasteSlowly
Posts created 77

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