Teaming Up for Purpose

Best-selling author Daniel Goleman highlights how some high-profile partnerships can move the needle on purpose.

Daniel Goleman, author of the best seller Emotional Intelligence, and host of the podcast First Person Plural: Emotional Intelligence and Beyond, is a regular contributor to Korn Ferry. His latest book, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, is available now. 

There’s a Japanese adage, “All of us are smarter than any one of us.”  The added power of a team applies even to an organization’s purpose.

In the past, I have looked at collaboration in the purpose movement in terms of teamwork in my model of emotional intelligence. I pointed to Howard W. Buffet, Warren Buffet’s only grandson and a professor of public policy and international affairs. When Buffet spoke with leaders around the world—asking how they approached planning, management and measurement for achieving positive impact—he uncovered a trend: cross-sector partnerships were pivotal to achieving a positive impact.

While collaboration between sectors has obvious benefits (more skills, ideas and perspectives in the mix), collaboration within sectors may be just as fruitful.

One promising example comes from plans for the 2022 Super Bowl, scheduled to happen in Inglewood, Calif. in February. For the first time in history, the halftime show—hosted by Pepsi, the NFL, and Roc Nation—will bring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, all renowned artists in their own right, on stage together.

"This year we are blowing the roof off the concept of collaboration," said Adam Harter, senior vice president of media, sports and entertainment at PepsiCo.

Not only will the collaboration be a celebration of music, sports, and the city of LA, but it will promote something these artists and organizations all care about: Regional School #1, a magnet high school in South Los Angeles set to open next fall.

Based on a program founded by rap legend Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine, the school will focus on integrated design, technology, and entrepreneurship, giving historically underserved students the opportunity to become the leaders, innovators and business owners of tomorrow.

In addition to providing philanthropic support, Pepsi and the NFL will also collaborate with the school, its partners and the local community to offer applied learning experiences and internships. The entire endeavor— including bringing these artists with their collective 43 Grammys and 22 No.1 Billboard albums together on stage— reminds me of the African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

This is the same principle behind the CLO Forum launched by Unilever's Tim Munden last March. With support from various partners, the event was created to unite Chief Learning Officers and heads of leadership development across organizations into a peer collaboration to shape the next generation of leaders.

Click here to learn more about Daniel Goleman's Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence.