Many of the brilliant minds that have etched their names into the indelible consciousness of history--such as Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Joanne Liu and Indra Nooyi--are often thought of as lone lighthouses of talent and intelligence. And rightly so.
Many of the people who make history often possess an independence and singularity of thought that helps them carve their path and get noticed faster.
However, what is often forgotten is that leaders who make it to the top of the pyramid do so because they are working with other fiercely talented, driven and capable people.
The experienced teams that support these people--those who add to their creativity, help refine their ideas, offer different perspectives of problem solving--enable these brilliant people to reach the full potential of their brilliance, and essentially make history.
The key ingredient when you approach any life task, business venture, or client meeting is to do so with a willingness to collaborate with those around you.
Steve Jobs and his 'A players'
Many successful and powerful people don't employ this tactic with any regularity and that's largely because teams often don't make history--their leaders do.
Outside of sports, our society doesn't really celebrate teamwork the way it should.
Steve Jobs gets all the credit and the programmers and designers who worked under him and refined and developed his ideas--his "A players"--get to die in obscurity.
In order to allow the bulk of your potential to truly develop and flourish, adopt the viewpoint that we're all in the same boat.
Everyone in your boat has a variety of strengths and weaknesses that can be properly harnessed to meet the loftiest of common goals.
Really brilliant people are willing to inspire others to work harder or risk more daringly in order to meet such collective objectives.
In conjunction with a willingness to collaborate needs to be an acceptance of who you are, and the discipline to stop guessing what others are looking for.
Rather, assume that you are what and who they're looking for, while bringing something useful to the table.
You are not perfect, you don't have all the answers, and you will make mistakes--but you have a singularity that cannot be duplicated. It's what makes you an original.
Thus, your viewpoints, your experience, your charms all contribute to the solution. It's your job to determine how to harness them in the most applicable and beneficial manner.
Your team can help you grow
Once you embrace this mindset, your own inner level of confidence and charisma should organically rise and that's important.
Given any professional situation or challenge, you need to believe that you--with all your flaws alive and well--are the solution.
The situation might be bleak, scandalous, intricate and take years to solve, but with this attitude you know you are capable.
Maybe not after the first try or even the second, but with a mind committed to collaboration and a refusal to guess what others want, along with a commitment to your individuality--nothing can stop you.
This article was originally posted in Inc.