The ancient Greeks had it right, no doubt on a number of things, but surely none more fundamentally than as encompassed in the Delphic maxim – ‘know thyself’.
While at a RIG strategy meeting recently, we analysed in some gory detail our myriad individual strengths and weaknesses. I was told (very generously I thought) by Mr. Shields Russell, RIG’s illustrious leader, that my strengths were strong enough that I should give myself the headspace to ensure I could bring these to bear, and to look to those around me to make up deficiencies. I’ve since come to the realisation that in fact the master social engineer was inviting me to look more closely at the team around me, for there lyeth all of the experience, character traits, and perspectives that if utilised intelligently could more than make up for my own personal inadequacies.
RIG is made up of a diverse bunch that, as well as getting along fairly well with each other some of the time, are all the friends a lonely technology entrepreneur could need or want. Despite being an outfit built by design around commercialising technology, none of us on our own has all the skills. If and when you come to the realisation that you are a jack of a particular trade, for the sake of everyone around you, get the hell out of the way and call for the support of a master – no-one will thank you for doing anything else. In any case complex, multi-faceted industrialisation requires more traits than any one ancient Greek or modern CEO could possibly hope to personify.
The advice of course was as sage as the Greeks themselves, and I firmly believe that had they had the forethought to dream up management speak, the aphorism would surely have read know thy team.