Power of Pairs – Churchill Club Changing the Game
September 2012 - The Churchill Club continued their innovation series with the event themed on “Changing the Game”. The diverse program focused on the nature of change, if it is by design or by accident and how to drive change for the future. One of the more controversial discussion was from Rich Karlgaard of Forbes and Michael Malone a veteran Silicon Valley Journalist and Author. The discussion, which was diametrically opposed by Vinod Khosla at the evening awards event, was on the topic of leadership pairs rather than individual leaders. The basis is that most of the big successes in the Silicon Valley were from two person teams that drove the direction and key growth of the companies. These companies include HP, Intel, Ebay and many others.
They detailed the pairing options that were in these companies by category and operated under the premise of “together, they are more than just two” from an outcome and leadership basis. These categories are:
- Ying / Yang (complementary pairs)
- Counter Weights (supplementary pairs)
- Overlapping skills (spouses / brothers / etc)
- “this magic moment”
- Rembember the Force (mentor relationship)
- Chained together by success (volatile but productive pairs)
- Lifeboats (partnering for survival)
- Artist and Agel (this is an investment / technologist pair)
- Idolatry partner
In these relationships, they were able to address multiple aspects of the company and help address growth models for the company that are in excess of the efforts of a single leader. Mr. Khosla, in the evening event discussed that companies follow and are a personification of a single personality and thought leader. Both sides had compelling arguments for their historic case reviews. The take-away is that the story of how success was created has multiple aspects and generally involves a large number of accomplishments toward a goal by multiple people. How the history assigns these accomplishments is a combination of facts, marketing and branding.