Wednesday, April 27, 2011


syn·er·gy  [sin-er-jee]
noun, plural -gies.
1. combined action or functioning; synergism.
2. the cooperative action of two or more muscles, nerves, or the like.
3. the cooperative action of two or more stimuli or drugs.

The word "synergy," oft used in business circles, comes from the Greek "synerg" or "synergos," which means "working together. The American engineer, inventor and futurist, Buckminster Fuller, coined the word synergy, and defined it as "synthesis plus energy." More simply put, it translates to how the result is greater (usually FAR greater) than the sum of the parts. In agriculture, it is referred to as "heterosis," where a handful of good qualities of two plants, or two animals, are crossed. The result is incredibly superior offspring. My engineer nephew insists that 2+2=5 (for heavy values of 2). In business environments, the same concept expresses how projects or people work together to create an outcome that is of exponentially greater value. Specifically, sphere overlap leads to force multiplication. The more overlap, the greater the factor of multiplication. Hence, 2 x 2 = 20

With that said ......

In 2006, I joined the Prudential Commercial office in Columbus, leaving behind a small local brokerage (high profile in the Ohio State campus area) for one that has one the world's best known brand, and whose reach and influence is international in scope. Not sure if I was making the right decision, still, I have never looked back. The principal broker of the office was Robert White Sr., an accomplished, likeable gentleman who knew the commercial business like the back of his hand.

Bob preached "synergy" all the time. He was convinced -- and he was right -- that the best results come from personnel working in concert with each other, teaming whenever possible, leveraging off each other's skillsets, exploiting individual strengths for a larger goal. Because the team we had assembled and were continuing to grow was a living entity with capabilities no one even knew. For when you put sharp people together, you don't just get a good outcome. The result is great; head and shoulders extending far beyond the individual inputs.

Bob is gone now. I have written about him in past posts, but his enthusiasm for synergy lives on. David Mussari, our company owner and managing broker, was so moved by Bob's focus on "Synergy" that he created an annual award to be presented in his memory to an agent as recognition for accomplishments, teamwork, focus, initiative, blah blah blah.... I say "blah blah" because I don't want to toot the horn too loud.

Because, of all the incredible talent in our company, and the knowledge my fellow agents possess, and throughout our firm, which spans Ohio and Kentucky, I was presented with the Synergy award for 2010 today during our annual Blue Rock Midwest network meeting. A surprise at the end of a very long, very busy, and educational day.

To receive an award created in memory of, and to honor the drive of Mr. Bob White, I am extremely honored. To have been chosen to receive this recognition from among (and in front of) my many accomplished peers, well, it is humbling. But I am a product of that synergy in our office. For as others leverage off of me, I leverage off of them.

Because success in this business, in this economy, is almost always a team effort.

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