The Power of Opposites

The Power of Opposites

If given the choice, would you work with someone who’s similar to you and shares your views? Or would you choose someone who’s quite dissimilar, and has a different perspective?

Research suggests that we make better decisions in diverse groups than in homogeneous ones, but that we feel less confident in those decisions1. Why? Maybe because making decisions with people similar to us feels easy; if we’re all on the same page from the start it must be the right page, mustn’t it? The overconfidence that we’re prone to individually, gets multiplied in homogeneous groups.

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How would you make history? Business Chemistry through the ages

There are many ways to make one’s mark on the world, no matter what your Business Chemistry type. These videos illustrate how four historical figures made their mark, and which Business Chemistry type they epitomize.

Queen Victoria: Guardian

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning British Monarch in History, and the longest reigning female monarch anywhere. Talk about tried and true–there was an entire era named after her! With her controlled, principled, and meticulous style, the “Grandmother of Europe” is a great example of a Guardian.

“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.” — Queen Victoria

 

Theodore Roosevelt: Driver

Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest US President ever, sworn in at the age of 42, and the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His take charge, experimental, never-say-die approach was typical of a Driver, whether the challenge he faced was his own debilitating childhood asthma or the political and engineering feat of building the Panama canal. He was once shot at a campaign event and went on to deliver a 90-minute speech anyway.  After all, it was only ONE bullet.

“The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.” — Theodore Roosevelt

 

Nelson Mandela: Integrator

Nelson Mandela was an exemplary Integrator. After spending almost 3 decades in prison for his activities as an anti-apartheid revolutionary, he became the first South African President to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He reached this pinnacle because of his ability to bring people together, connect on a personal level, and build trust through listening. Not only is there a woodpecker named after Mandela, but also an orchid, a spider, a sea slug, a nuclear particle, and even a day, declared by the United Nations–July 18th is Nelson Mandela International Day.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” — Nelson Mandela

 

Earnest Shackleton: Pioneer

An example of a Pioneer, Earnest Shackleton was a polar explorer who was knighted for his daring achievements. He was referred to as the “life and the soul” of the ships he sailed on, lifting the spirits of the crew through his antics and his spontaneous, optimistic and unflagging spirit. When selecting 26 crew out 5,000 applicants for the Endurance expedition, Shackleton tested singing ability in addition to more practical skills. This came in handy when the ship was icebound and eventually crushed and lost–nightly sing-alongs were one way the crew maintained their morale while living on the trapped ship and then the polar ice pack for many, many months.

“It is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.” — Ernest Shackleton

What kind of mark will you make?

Dr. Suz

Suzanne Vickberg, PhD (aka Dr. Suz)
Dr. Suz is the LCC’s very own social-personality psychologist, which means she studies how people’s thoughts, behaviors and preferences are influenced by both who they are and the situations they’re in. She uses Business Chemistry to help teams explore how the mix of perspectives brought by their individual members influences their work together. Follow her on Twitter @DrSuzBizChem

This publication contains general information only, and none of the member firms of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or their related entities (collective, the “Deloitte Network”) is, by means of this publication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this publication.
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A leader’s job is to get everyone’s best contribution

A leader's job is to get everyone's best contribution

Leaders sometimes ask me whether Business Chemistry is really just about making everyone feel included. While that’s a worthy endeavor in my opinion, Business Chemistry offers so much more, like the potential to make a good leader great.

I think great leadership is about creating environments that both empower and compel people to make their very best contribution. But since not everyone is empowered or compelled by the same environment, the trick is to understand what different people need and to provide them with the right kind of space to excel. For those leaders who aren’t sure where to start, Business Chemistry can help!

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Pioneers vs. Guardians: The Right Balance for Problem Solving?

Pioneers vs. Guardians: The Right Balance for Problem Solving?

Last time you needed a really creative solution to a thorny problem, where did you go for help? Did you seek out someone who was more imaginative or more pragmatic? Someone more drawn to brainstorming or to structured process? If you chose the imaginative brain-stormer that was a reasonable choice–many think of Pioneers first when they have difficult problems to solve. But next time think about adding a more pragmatic, process-oriented Guardian to the mix. Let me tell you why.

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Welcome! Let’s Stir Things Up

Time For Something NEW!

Welcome to the Business Chemistry Blog, a place to explore leadership, teams, and how relationships fuel our work. The launch of this blog coincides with the 5-year birthday of Business Chemistry, which I’ll describe in more detail below. To begin with, I’ll be writing from my vantage point within Deloitte’s Greenhouse Experience Team—I have so many questions to explore here—but other voices will join in along the way and you’ll have the opportunity to engage with more members of our team.

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