If you’ve ever worked in organizations where people were working in silos, you know how counterproductive it can be. In organizations like this, rather than working together to create synergy, team members work against each other with the aim of optimizing their own interest, at the cost of significantly sub-optimizing the interests of the organization as a whole. And since even those working toward their own ends are part of that whole, by pursuing their own interests they are also paradoxically working against them at the same time.
In his timeless classic, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey introduces a model called the Maturity Continuum. The model describes the three Habits necessary to achieve what Covey calls the Private Victory, which is the shift from dependence to independence, and three Habits which comprise the Public Victory, which is the elevation of a person beyond independence into interdependence.
This is just one of the many groundbreaking concepts found in Dr. Covey’s book, which, I should say, is one of my most highly recommended books for anyone serious about laying a strong foundation for successful personal or professional leadership development. Although Dr. Covey’s teachings represent a wealth of wisdom for anyone interested in improving their effectiveness, at work and at home, I would like to highlight and explore one idea in particular: the distinction and relationship between independence and interdependence.