Marriage Covenant

The Power of Two


The Power of two.

What is the Power that makes some partnership flourish, creating a collective genius far surpassing the genius of one?

That question lies at the heart of Joshua Wolf Shenk’s new book out this week, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, in which, drawing on academic research, historical evidence, and original reportage, he explores what makes creative partnerships tick, from a foundation of trust to a spark that ignites when two people are “as alike as identical twins and as unalike as complete strangers.”

All of us have experienced creative connection, and glimpsed its power. Yet, for centuries, the myth of the lone genius has obscured the critical story of the power of collaboration. In Powers of Two, Joshua Wolf Shenk argues that creative pairs are the exemplars for innovation. Drawing on years of research on great partnerships in history – from Lennon and McCartney to Marie and Pierre Curie, plus hundreds more in fields including literature, popular culture, art and business – Shenk identifies the common journey pairs take from the spark of initial connection, through the passage to a cognitive ‘joint identity” to competition and the struggle for power. Using scientific and psychological insights, he uncovers new truths about epic duos – and sheds new light on the genesis of some of the greatest creative work in history. He reveals hidden partnerships among people known only for their individual work (like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), and even ‘adversarial collaborations’ among those who are out to beat each other. This revelatory and lyrical book will make us see creative exchange as the central terrain of our psyches.

More example in our time is:

Bill Gates & Paul Allen (colleagues; business partners) Founders of Microsoft Corporation

Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created Apple Computer on April 1, 1976,

Frodo Baggins & Sam Gamgee (fictional; companions in the Lord of the Ring trilogy)

Biblical Examples are:

Gen 2:25 Adam and eve

Jos 2:1 The Two Spies

Zech 4:14 Two anointed ones (King & Priest Partnership)

2 Sam 20:34; & Sam 1:25-26 David & Jonathan

Jesus send the disciples two by two (Luk 10:1)

According the wisdom of the Preacher “two ae better than one” Eccl 4:9-12

What are the hindrances to a healthy partnership.

1) Lack of honour – Jesus exist to glorify the Father, our accurate deeds in frequency with the Father’s will glorify Him. We honour God with our lives when we accurately represent Him. Our lives, testimony, fruit, accomplishments, and success, is because we listened and obeyed His instruction, utilizing His wisdom, applying his power… The fruit glorifies the source. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) We show honor in the way we involve and value our partner. Not informing one another of important decisions, and not including the other is a show of disrespect.

2) Desire to control, and Ego. Wanting to remain in control and have the last say, stifles the creativity in a relationship. A team works well together when both get’s the opportunity to lead. Working together is like dancing, mutual submission, and willingness to be led.

3) Losing Unity as always being the first point on the Agenda. Our point of departure is always unity first. No matter the grudge, the mistake or the problem it remains OUR problem, we face it together. We solve things together. We think team all the time.

4) Poor confrontation skills and results. Confrontation is healthy, if done the correct way. We all need to improve our correction skills, being mature enough to agree to disagree. Dealing with all our defense meganisme and bad habits in terms of reaction to correction paves the way to a strong relationship. We can grow, through our differences.

5) Not defining and understanding different roles. Healthy partners know their individual roles and gifts they add to the friendship. Both know their weakness and strengths and how to use the strengths to each other’s benefit. Defining the different roles and job description helps to establish synergy.

6) Having two visions, or goals. – division. Two visions will eventually break and destroy the partnership. It is the common agreement that holds the partnership together. We do not create unity we preserve it! Keep to the original vision, and both must be in agreement when the goalposts change.

7) Lack of Execution – physical work done, completed for the other. Not keeping your word, on what is agreed, will end the partnership. Both need to be responsible and show integrity to complete tasks, and fulfill obligations. This is the most basic foundation of any partnership. Not getting things done, and not fulfilling your end of the bargain destroys trust.


Jan Oosthuizen

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