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And: the power of thinking in combinations and win-win

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

This is exactly what the best leaders – and their organizations – are able to do.

And it is the antithesis of the “Tyranny of the OR” as Jim Collins calls it in “Built to Last.”

OR is oppressive. OR limits our thinking. OR excludes and reduces the possibilities.

When we believe that things must be either A or B, we overlook the potential power and benefits of both.

Instead of being troubled by the “Tyranny of the OR,” we need to liberate ourselves with the “Genius of the AND” – the ability to embrace two extremes at the same time.

Here’s how to develop your AND mindset:

Abundance. There’s plenty for all. Everybody gets one and one is enough for anybody.
Humility. We don’t know everything. We need help and cooperation to succeed.
Creativity. Look at the issue from all sides. Expand the conversation and the possibilities.
Positivity. Have a hopeful outlook. Believe the best about yourself and others.
Productivity. Keep moving. Do something. Test, learn and adjust.

When we think in terms of AND, we have the opportunity for richer interactions, broader benefits, and more successful outcomes.

Think in terms of AND to pursue dreams and reality; value and quality; purpose and profits.

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