A duet of a different kind

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

I bought books, read a lot of them, and have given them away. Today I have more e-books and audiobooks than the traditional hard and soft-bound books that occupied my shelves. Once in a while, a good book finds its way into the market. It is always a blessing to get hold of one. The books that remained with me would be those I consider as classics.

Some books look good because of the beauty of its cover design. Turn a couple of pages and get through three or four chapters and discover that the rest is simply dragging. Then again, some books are so good you read and devour each page, and when you reach the very end of it, you turn over the book with a sigh of regret because you want and long for more. I loved an old book and has kept it, it’s entitled “God’s Little Devotional Book for Leaders.”

Let me share with you a very touching story I got from that book. It talks about teamwork but in a very different way. At a time when companies are spending a fortune on team building seminars and while you have a plethora of articles presented in the web on the topic of teamwork; this story indeed is a refreshing change even as it delivers a powerful message.

A story is told about two women who once lived in a convalescent center who had suffered an incapacitating stroke. Maggie’s stroke had caused paralysis on her left side. Rachel’s stroke had caused permanent damage to her right side. Both women were devastated by what had happened to them since they assumed, they would never be able to pursue a pastime they had genuinely enjoyed throughout life –playing the piano.

Then, one day, Maggie and Rachel met and began talking about their lives. When they realized they both had an interest in music, an idea emerged. When approached with the concept, the convalescent center’s director brought them a piano and helped each woman sit on a long bench in front of it. Maggie played the right-hand notes, while Rachel played the left-hand! Not only did they make beautiful music together, but they formed a long and endearing friendship.

Music filled the air. And there seems to be a restoration of life in the convalescent center. God has equipped us with different talents and gifts. Over time the way we develop our talents into skills is never uniformly the same. We also have handicaps. There are things we do not do well but are competently done by others, and there are areas of expertise that we have that we can lend to others who don’t have it. When we work as one, we can achieve much and play lovely music together.

The constant drive to compare ourselves with others, and compete with one another, hinders the potential and achievement of more extraordinary things. The relentless pursuit to convince others that we are better than them produces bitter sentiments that obstruct progress. Egos, power trips, pride produce bickering, conflicts, demotivating people, and waste of precious resources that should be conserved and managed carefully, especially during these times of uncertainty.

If only we could share our strengths and weaknesses. Allow some to play the right-hand notes and others the left-hand notes, then we can, as an organization, as a department, as a company, or even as a country, do excellent work and achieve greatness together, meanwhile, forming a long endearing friendship with one another. But all these begin with the humility of understanding that we need to work together because no one can ever succeed alone. God’s design for us is that we work together, live together, and have fun together.

No matter how weak our abilities are, together, we become a formidable foe.

An Ethiopian proverb says: “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

Famous basketball coach Phil Jackson says: “The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” Man is not meant to live alone; he is designed by God to be with others so that they can play beautiful music together.

(Connect with Francis Kong at www.facebook.com/franciskong2. Or listen to “Business Matters” Monday to Friday 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. over 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.)

[1] God’s Little Devotional book For Leaders

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