Relationships Naturally Form Among People Who Discover They Share A Common Cause and Vision
Judging by how rapidly this meme is being shared right now, I’m clearly not alone in resonating with Margaret Wheatley’s quote about how the world changes as our relationships form with others who share our vision and how our work is to “foster [our] critical connections” with them.
So, coming back to another question that was raised in a group I’ve been sharing in on the topic of collaboration:
“𝑺𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒑 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏/𝒄𝒐-𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕?”
In a word, yes.
To the Vision and/or to the Relationships with the people in your team.
In essence, it takes being in Love, with what you’re creating and/or the people you’re creating it with.
And for that Love to be in highest service to the more beautiful world that works for everyone.
Because THE JOURNEY of co-creation that you’ll go through together IS THE PATH you’ll walk on your individual and group development journey to bringing your shared vision to fruition.
If each of you feel that the Vision aligns with your deepest desire to be of highest service individually and together, then your ONE AND ONLY job is to keep showing up and choosing to stay in the fires of transformation that the path of Love is gifting you with moment to moment.
And trust me when I say that I NEVER imagined I would be the kind of person to use that kind of language when talking about business.
Unlike my business partner Diana, who fell head over heels in love with our other business partner Paul and could imagine being with him for the rest of her life, I certainly didn’t come into this team believing that I was going to be in “loving relationship” with my small group of business partners. At least not in the way I defined love back then.
But I’ve come to learn that Love, in this context, isn’t just the romantic, rom-com, fairytale kind (although there is space for that too).
It’s more like a space that you develop your ability to occupy individually and collectively that acts as a powerful guiding principle.
Think about people rising in Love, rather than falling in Love and that may give you a taste of what I’m talking about.
In essence, you can trust that the path of Love is working you in all the right ways to bring you into full alignment such that you are becoming the unconditional being you need to be to embody and radiate the highest frequency of your shared vision out into the world and attract those who it’s meant to serve.
And that process may very may well mean:
- You’re ego being brought into line over and over again;
- Letting go of what you think needs to happen in service to what actually needs to happen;
- Pivoting repeatedly as life guides you to a smoother path;
- Releasing your grip on the things you’re unnecessarily attached to (that are actually limiting you);
And those things aren’t easy to do when we’re scared of failing, humiliation, rejection, abandonment, running out of resources, losing people and the like.
Which is why there is so much beauty and benefit in sharing our personal stories with one another, cultivating deep connections at the front end of this process (and continuing to do so as you progress), so that we really get to know our companions on the journey, appreciate the path they’ve walked and the value of the perspective and experience and motivations that they bring, and can see how the seed of the vision has also developed within them with continuity over time.
Because my G-d they are going to piss you off at times.
More than you could ever imagine.
There will be times when your stuff is up BIG TIME, and they well and truly appear to you, in your clouded perception, as your stuff is playing out, as the “bad guys” and the people you want to get as far away from as possible, as quickly as possible.
Which is where the agreement piece comes in.
I heard about someone the other day whose offering means that you’re in their community for life. And if you leave you can’t come back in. Not ever.
And even though that’s not how my team operates (which we can explore another time), there’s something about that approach that captures the essence of the devotion that walking this path takes, in a way that I actually kind of respect.
Because you don’t want to make it easy for your ego to sabotage you. If your vision is truly the kind of vision that you know that you’re on this Earth to actualize, you’ll want the stakes to be high enough that it makes it hard (but not necessarily impossible) for you to leave.
Which is why there’s something to be said for the value of “all-in-ness” on this journey.
To pouring in your time, your attention, your resources and your reputation with a singular focus, so that the energy that’s going to support you to build your vision, isn’t leaking out and dispersing all over the place.
But what tends to happen is that people either don’t sign any agreements with each other (which tends to make things messy and unclear, especially when disputes inevitably arise), OR they rush into signing an agreement really early on, as a way to compel commitment and compliance through the threat of some kind of legal consequence.
As a former international lawyer, I’ve spent many hours dealing with these kinds of agreements, and while they have gotten us this far in our development as a species, it’s time for us to up level them if we’re truly going to build the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
It’s now time for our agreements, commitments and devotion to the vision and to each other to be built on foundations of trust rather than compliance;
For them to represent and memorialize the beauty of the relationships that we have cultivated with one another, and the commitment and devotion we have individually and collectively to our shared vision and values.
Which brings me to another point, the value of have a truly Shared Vision.
Sure, it’s common for there to be one person in the group who feels that they are sourcing the vision. Perhaps they have more clarity or ability to articulate what they’re seeing than the other members of the group initially.
So it’s important for First Action to be taken, for that vision to be drawn out and articulated, and then for the other members of the team to augment and mould the vision with each of the perspectives they bring to the table such that it becomes a truly Shared Vision that each member is genuinely invested in and captured in an artifact, so it’s not just an amorphous concept being held without clarity within someone’s being.
Things get problematic when we’re simply blindly going along with something because the person sourcing it is charismatic, convincing, or can pay us.
That’s no recipe for a balanced business partnership or collaboration and you’re likely to run into all sorts of issues around dependency, giving your power away, pedestaling, inability to express the truth of what you’re seeing and corrupt feedback loops if you go down that route.
Quite frankly, one of the things I’ve learnt from my experience, is that your BEST bet is for all the participants to come to the table already resourced as sovereign individuals, without needing to rely on the shared vision to generate your base needs.
If that’s not possible, then just be prepared that if you’re creating something new, there are likely to be some of the dynamics I mention above (re: money, dependency, power and communication) to work through as a group.
As Margaret Wheatley says,
“The world doesn’t change one person at a time,”
so the invitation is for us to start getting good at navigating the terrain of relationship with each other.