Yay! It’s the Christmas season. And right after my son Austin’s bright eyes and excited step, my favorite thing is the music. Concerts everywhere, carolers in the streets. Amy Grant serenades me as I drive. I even recognize the elevator music!
It’s a divine time of year.
I think about the musicians offering their talents for our enjoyment. And the dedication and temperament it takes to reach the heights of success within the arts.
Consider the virtuoso. Often a child prodigy, lessons begin at an early age. The young student spends countless hours in practice, and limits time for pick-up basketball games, movies, and playing with friends. It is worth all the effort, however, when the musician reaches the rarified atmosphere of the best of the best.
Artists like Itzhak Perlman, Ray Charles, YoYo Ma, Liberace, Barbara Streisand, Garth Brooks or Celine Dion – stars whose solo performances stand out, the general public recognizes their names, and music lovers revere (and buy) their work.
In business terms, I equate these exceptional people with the maverick genius. Entrepreneurs who blaze their own paths, and create their own futures. Folks with a passion for an idea and a relentless determination to make it happen. Frequently, these individuals don’t play well with others; they prefer to march forward, uninhibited by other people’s ideas and constraints. Hard-driving and eccentric, these guys are NOT good candidates for Vested™.
Vested is better described by the virtuosos playing in the atmosphere of the string quartet. Each musician is accountable for his or her own part. There is only one instrument of its kind. Every note counts. Each note requires perfect pitch, perfect timing. But, when played together, the composition reaches a richness of sound impossible to attain by the individual instrument. The music becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Vested brings this same dynamic to business relationships. One business boasts expertise in something. Another brings expertise in something else. The businesses become allies, decide on the melody they want to play together, and combine their expertise to make it come alive. The parties are accountable for their own responsibilities, but also depend upon one another to achieve a larger success that’s probably impossible on their own.
Just as musical virtuosos come together to create amazing listening experiences, powerhouse companies come together to create amazing results. And, just as composers must feel immense satisfaction as they hear their works beautifully interpreted by talented artists, my spirit lifts when companies share their successful Vested stories.
So which is better? The soloist or the string quartet? Well, neither. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, if you find yourself NOT being the shining star soloist, maybe you should rethink your strategy and consider starting up a string quartet and create highly strategic relationships with some of your strategic business partners.
The bottom line is to celebrate! Let us not go quietly into the Silent Night! Let’s shout in a Hallelujah Chorus! It’s the Time of the Year where the world is a Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
Happy Holidays from the entire Vested Virtual Ecosystem team!!
Images: AMP String Quartet by TEDxPeachtree 2011 and Santa Claus by Theresa Huse via Flickr cc