Partnership is forged among equals

Partnership is forged among equals

Radhakrishnan Pillai observes, “When two people of equal status come together, they are beneficial for each other. One plus one is greater than two. Alternatives get created, approaches change, you get an insight into doing things in more ways than one.”
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During the days he was creating missiles, our ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam was asked why he was creating weapons of destruction? He replied, “Only strength respects strength.”

This is true in every aspect of our life. We can only partner with people who are equal to us. We do not see any ‘value-add’ in the time spent with people who are lower than us in stature.

On the other hand, if a person is above us, then it would be that person who will not see any value in us. Thus, only like-minded people of the same level can bond well together.

As the saying goes, ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Chanakya gives a different angle to it. He says, “An equal should over reach, or help an equal.” (7.7.12).

The concept of an equal in Arthashastra is that of a Mitra, i.e., a friend. Thus, as quoted in the above verse, you should help your Mitra and reach out to him even before he asks for help.

There are many benefits of forging a partnership among equals:

Better understanding

People at the same level have a better understanding of each other—their mindsets, their thinking patterns, their approach, etc. One company’s general manager, who is in-charge of leading 400 people, will easily understand the problems of another firm’s general manager who is also leading a group of 400 employees. Similarly, a student of Ph.D will understand the constraints of another Ph.D student, even if they are from different universities. That is why even marital relationships is proposed for only those couples who have equal thinking, economic status and goals in life.

Synergy in thinking

When two people of equal status come together, they are beneficial for each other. One plus one is greater than two. Alternatives get created, approaches change, you get an insight into doing things in more ways than one. As an individual, you may be small. But two small people working together as a team can beat even a bigger enemy. Bigger battles are won by taking more equals along with you.

We grow together

It’s in our human nature to grow. But of what use is a growth that’s meant only for you? A rich man had once said, “I was poor, yet happy with my childhood friends. Today, I am dying a rich man without any friends.” Therefore, it is important that—as we are growing in life—we include our equals as a part of our growth.

Remember, human life is all about partnerships. But to be a good human being, look ahead with a vision, look around to face facts, and look back to pull others along.

These are also the leadership qualities that is required if you want to lead a community, society or a nation.

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