There is widespread anxiety these days about technology taking away our jobs. There are several dire and comforting scenarios ahead points out Derek Thompson in a fascinating, in-depth article in The Atlantic: "A World Without Work." Yet in his compelling book Humans Are Underrated, Geoff Colvin found that individuals with certain traits will always manage to stay sought-after -- and have more work options from which to choose. Colvin wrote that, "the evidence is clear that the most effective groups are those whose members most strongly possess the most essentially, deeply human abilities -- empathy above all, social sensitivity, storytelling, collaborating, solving problems together, building relationships. We developed these abilities of interaction with other people, not machines, not even emotion-sensing, emotion-expressing machines."
To tackle problems or seize opportunities sooner and better than others hone your capacity to recruit and lead the best team.
To stay relevant and sought-after, your most vital trait is your capacity to recruit the right team for a task, and enable them to use best talents together. To become an Opportunity Maker requires a mutuality mindset:
1. Turn more situations into opportunities to discover sweet spots of mutual interest with others.
2. Be a helpful giver. Modeling a mutuality mindset doesn't mean you cultivate relationships by quid pro quo (thus acting as a "taker" according to Give and Take author Adam Grant), yet encourage an ebb and flow of mutual support over time. That makes for the healthiest, most enduring relationships.
3. Keep an eye out for those with complementary talents and a strong sweet spot of mutual interest. That doesn't mean you have to agree on everything. In fact some of your most valuable partners may have very different views on some topics -- thus your collective action can generate more interest and credibility around your joint action.
Live A More Meaningful And Productive Life With Others
The greatest joy and achievement you experience is usually not from the first successful project on which you collaborate together but rather the future ones you could not have imagined until after you experienced working well with each other. In so doing, you can enjoy a more adventuresome, satisfying life with others.
The TED@IBM team suggests this deeper level of reward in the introduction to their blockbuster October 15, 2015 event with the theme, Necessity & Invention: "We cannot help but suspect that our needs to create and to shape the world around us run much deeper than simple pragmatism. The deeply human need to produce something extraordinary from nothing remains essential to every great endeavor."
Why Redefine Your Life Around A Mutuality Mindset?
From drones to drugs, in our increasingly tech-enabled, complex and connected world, more people can find ways to use inventions for evil or beneficial purposes. The Law of Unintended Consequences is increasingly become the norm, not the exception. Thus our most noble calling is our capacity to organize diverse others towards inventing systems, products, services and campaigns for the greater good. My most ardent hope is that this convinces you to redefine your work and life around a mutuality mindset.
• Your focus on interconnectedness increases your frequency of serendipitous encounters, unexpected insights and deeper friendships.
• Speak sooner to sweet spots of shared interest to cultivate a meaningful connection, your first step to creating something greater together.
• Specificity is the straightest path towards greater clarity, credibility and memorability.
• The stronger the signal you send yourself of your highest purpose, the more likely you are to notice ways to serve it.
• Speak to their positive intent, especially when they appear to have none. You are more likely to bring out their better side.
• Don't just be a giver. Be an extremely helpful giver who demonstrates an awareness of what that person most needs.
• Close-knit teams have a sweet spot of shared interest, no more than seven members, no extra members, a top goal and rules of engagement.
• Opportunity Makers demonstrate that being a strong team player is as important as being the leader.
• We can't know which interactions will deepen into richer relationships, yet we can keep the faith that our mutuality mindset affirms them.
• Acts of mutuality most demonstrate our humanity and, in the end, that may be what most matters in our lives.