Competition is rooted in scarcity. Co-creation is rooted in abundance.
Co-creation is one of my most treasured principles. Co-creation among races, ethnicities, nations, ages, genders. Co-creation among entrepreneurs who form partnerships or just share expertise and resources. Co-creation between companies and talent, between employers and employees, and among co-workers. Co-creation between women and men. Co-creation among PEOPLE.
Our societies teach us to compete with each other, both within our communities and against other communities. What we don’t learn is to distinguish ourselves as the unique beings we are. We’re not shown how to bring out the best in ourselves, to focus on our unique qualities and strengths, which would allow us to co-create more, rather than compete so aggressively with each other. When we are comfortable with who we are, when we have high self-esteem, there’s no need to feel threatened by those who are different, or “better” or “more successful.” We all possess the gift of brilliance; it is expressed differently in each of us. It is a part of our distinctive uniqueness. When we are truly aware of our authentic uniqueness and brilliance, competition becomes irrelevant. Just imagine how much energy you could save if you didn’t have to focus on your competition; how much energy you’d have available to create; how much easier it could be to leverage your strengths and maximize what you already have. How easy it would be to “be enough,” if you stopped comparing yourself with others.
There are currently 7.7bn people on this planet, and no one has your DNA. No one was given your exact same talents. No one has the same combination of gifts, skills, experiences, studies, stories. That’s because you’re meant to be unique, and we (anyone that’s not you) need your authentic brilliance and your unique qualities… because they are complementary to ours.
I also call these unique qualities “unique assets” because some of them are worth gold. When we put our unique assets to good use, they can lead to more money in our bank accounts and more satisfaction in our careers. These unique qualities or assets don’t only benefit their owners. They are also assets in the balance sheets of our organizations, and they are tremendously valuable assets. Without them, corporate success is not possible. We are all pieces of a larger puzzle. When we bring our unique qualities to the table and put them to work in the best interest of all within an organization, within a community, that’s when we produce the most value for everyone involved… when we can co-create the best results.
In our communities and organizations, we need leaders to guide and orient the different teams. But how do we determine who is the best fit for a specific leadership position? Well, we look at the candidates’ qualities, what they stand for and what qualifies them as leaders. But we can only identify who would be a great leader, if the candidates show us who they truly are and what distinguishes them as leaders.
So if we want to be leaders, it is even more critical to differentiate ourselves, uncover our Distinctive Uniqueness and really go deep with it. Because leaders don’t blend in. Leaders stand out! And standing out requires courage. It requires the courage to show our authentic self, use the talents we discover in ourselves, the courage to be different. And the courage to inspire others to dare be different.
Diversity has an important function in co-creation. I believe one of the highest purposes of life is for us to fully understand our role as individuals in this diversity puzzle; to put our brilliance and genius at the service of the world. When we truly grasp the beauty of the gift of diversity and its richness, that’s where the magic happens; that’s when we will be able to co-create abundance for all. This ideal vision starts with ourselves. The first step is to value our own Distinctive Uniqueness and dig up the courage to show our brilliance, so we can then appreciate the brilliance in other people as well.
Here are some questions that can help you find your brilliance: What do you do uniquely well? What makes you feel excited and amazing when you do it? What makes your heart sing when you do it? These questions bring you a step closer to finding your brilliance, your genius and possibly even your purpose. Then ask yourself: What do you admire in others because you find it hard to do? How are others helping you with their brilliance, their greatness?
Acknowledging our own brilliance and that of others is the basis for fruitful co-creation, where there is space for all to thrive. Where there is freedom for all to thrive. Where there is greater balance in leadership and less hierarchical difference. Because we recognize that we are all a piece of the larger puzzle, with our very unique roles in it.
We are all powerful creators as individuals, by ourselves. Together, we are unstoppable. Co-creation is the future.