It’s doubtful we would even know the name CS Lewis without JRR Tolkien and the Inklings. These men met regularly at The Eagle and Child, a pub near the campus of Oxford University, to talk about life, theology, and their developing writing projects. Some of the greatest literature of the 20th Century was birthed from the conversations and connections consistently forged around pub tables and on long strolls through the quaint streets and perfectly manicured gardens of Oxford, England.
Albert Einstein transformed the world of physics, yet it’s not unreasonable to question whether E=MC² would have every been discovered had it not been for Marcel Grossman and Michele Besos. These friends spent countless hours together over evening meals and walking commutes to and from work, talking, dreaming, questioning, arguing. A portion of Einstein’s genius only emerged through his interaction with friends.
This reality is personal, too.
When I was younger, I longed to be a songwriter. I possessed the musical chops, but it wasn’t until I met my friend Nathan that the collision of our talents and passions began to produce fruit. We wrote close to 70 songs in the 8 years we worked together.
My daughter was a decent basketball player, but when she finally connected with the right culture, coach, and teammates, her talent exploded beyond anything we had ever seen from her before. The fullness of her abilities was drawn out within a solid community.
When The Stone Table partnered with 6 churches to raise money for a vital North African missions project, the collaborative energy led a majority of these pastors to blow away any of their previous fundraising goals. Collaboration released new energy.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Together makes us better.
So why don’t we work that way more often?
Part of The Stone Table’s emerging vision is to cultivate creative workspace where like-minded businesses, entrepreneurs, and leaders can work in proximity to one another – bounce ideas, cross-pollenate, argue, problem solve, eat, walk, mentor, and learn – together. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, who is your Michele Besos? Who are your Inklings? Who’s your Nathan? Your full potential will never emerge if you only work alone.