Two and Two Make Five

This is not bad a lesson in maths, this is about getting more profit from your business through co-operation and teamwork. Do this successfully and you'll create something where the value of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It's a true story that will show you exactly how to make two and two add up to five, or more. At around 7 p.m. on May 3, 2001, I was taking my dog, Holly, she's part Rottweiller, part dog (sorry, I mean Shepherd), for her evening constitutional along the local lane. We were almost home, not 50 yards from the bridge at the end of my driveway, when we heard a squeak coming from the undergrowth. It's not unusual for the lizards to squeak. Sometimes, when I whistle the cats, the lizards answer me back. The first time, I nearly jumped out of my skin! "Who's there?" The squeak resounded again. This time, however, both dog and I cocked an ear each and glanced at each other askance. Now, I have no idea what she was thinking, but I suspect, much the same as me as she dragged me off in the direction of the sound. "That ain't no lizard!" Down ditch and up bank, we caught our first glimpse of the owner of the voice. A contender for the title of World's Smallest Kitten and, we were just in time to see it scurry back up to huddle with two better qualified entrants. All alone, middle of nowhere. Oh bother! Now what do we do? Well, to cut a long story short, I decided they were far too young to be out on their own and went and collected them. I took a cardboard box and if it had been only a shoe box, so small they were, I could have lost all three of them in it. Brought the box home and, looking at the comparative sizes of half ounce furballs to 55 lb. muscle-bound mutt, decided the box should go up on the table, out of reach. Wrong answer! Holly paced the floor of the hallway, back and forth by the side of the table like an expectant father waiting for news of the birth. And she howled and she whined and she cried. (Maybe because there were no cigars in the house?) When I could stand no more, I got the box down, crouching close to see what she would do. Now, bear in mind that one of these little things had already tried to bite the end off my finger - it was a nasty nip for one that size. And they came fitted with sharp grappling irons on each tiny hoof. I thought Holly was pretty brave to shove her snout straight down into the box, let alone pick up our noisy friend, ever so gently, place him on the floor, roll him on his back and then started to lick his now not-so-private parts with a tongue that could bath an entire kitten in one swipe! She knew, instinctively, what, at the time, I did not. That *mother* has to do this to stimulate said apparatus to work. The box stayed on the floor and the dog didn't leave the side of it for the next three days and nights together. If someone within so much as hiccuped, she was there, snouting around to check on her newly adopted charges. She stopped short of attempting to breast-feed. Oh, the kittens tried, but Holly yelped as those needle sharp teeth impaled on tender flesh! I therefore got the job of shoving milk in one end with a syringe at two hourly intervals. I wiped little hands and faces with a damp cloth, then held each kitten up for Holly to take care of the other ends. It was like a factory production line! And it was truly magnificent to watch, be a part of and to learn from. Do you see what I am getting at? Those kittens obviously could not have survived without food. But they also would not have survived without the dog's attentions. Neither task was more, nor less important than the other. Neither of us was competing, we simply HAD to work together to get the job done. The result is the lives of those three tiny, helpless mites who are now growing up to be very fine and strong young cats. (OK, a little confused about their identities. How many cats do you know who come when their *mother* barks? :-) It has also done masses to cement the relationship between me and the dog. The responsibility she took on has changed her personality entirely from self-centred to co-operative and caring, but I think I learned more than anyone. Teamwork is not always about competition and scoring points. It's not about bosses and subordinates, there should be harmony, although there may well be leaders. It's not about *what's in it for me*, nor even you. It's about what can be achieved together that's bigger than itself and goes out beyond itself, yet still brings back much more in terms of repayment and satisfaction. Apply these principles to your business, team and client relationships, to your joint ventures, to your reciprocal linking strategy, to your viral marketing ... and watch your results add up to way beyond the sum of the parts. "The universe operates through dynamic exchange ... giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives." ------Deepak Chopra