Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to tour the sites where we will host WPC 2014. Having lived there for almost 11 years, I’m quite familiar with the city, but every time I return I discover something new that makes me think about the city in a new way. On Thursday night, our last night in the city, I walked past the Lincoln Memorial, which is one of my favorite monuments, and as I stood there contemplating the statue of one of our greatest presidents, I thought about his political success in a new way. His particular genius was his deliberate choice about who he aligned and worked with.
Lincoln was self-educated; he grew up on a farm, taught himself law, and became a talented lawyer in Illinois. He lost many political races before he succeeded in winning the presidential election of 1860, and when he got to the White House he knew he needed a good team in order to become a successful president.
Lincoln knew he needed to develop partnerships to maintain the integrity of the Union and face the coming challenges of segregation. Lincoln’s particular political genius presented itself through the people he chose to partner with. Lincoln was strategic and created a cabinet of people with both likeminded and opposing political strategies to ensure a holistic approach to governing the country and bringing the will of the people to light.
This partnering approach reminds me of what you all do today and need to continue doing: build strategic partnerships that position you and your companies for success. Now more than ever businesses need to be deliberate about their partnering choices. The opportunities presented by cloud, data, devices & mobility, and social require thinking about partnering in a new way. Like Lincoln, you need to build a team that lets you take calculated advantage of these opportunities.
Lincoln’s story is a fresh way to look at partnership: we can all benefit by working together with the best people for the job. Those who challenge us make our position stronger by forcing us to rethink our approach and strengthen our argument.
Washington, D.C. is the perfect place to strengthen your team. WPC 2014 is an opportunity for you to meet thousands of partners that can challenge and support you and make you think about your business in new ways. Finding the right partners is integral to success.
Join the conversation on digitalwpc.com, and join me at WPC. Register today for WPC in Washington, D.C. July 13-17.