Creatively Entrepreneurial

with Carl Nordgren

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Power of Both

How to unleash the power of both

Carl Nordgren

Creative Populist, Author, Guide

Lessons Learned

Divergent strategies ensure that one will work.

If you ask the right questions, two opposing behaviors allow you to unleash the power of both.

Contrary solutions to a problem, or contrary ideas, are better than compromise.


Lesson: Creatively Entrepreneurial with Carl Nordgren

Step #6 Power of Both: How to unleash the power of both

“The Power of Both” is one of my favorite stories to tell. I was driving home one Sunday morning. I was in my old pickup truck and I was driving down a two-lane country road. There was low, swampy woods on both sides of the road and I looked up the road and I could see the locomotion of two creatures coming across the road. They were small. There was an unusual pattern to their behavior. I pulled my truck off to the side of the road. I ran down and I picked up what I believe had to be no more than two- or three-day-old two baby snapping turtles. Perfect little baby snapping turtles. One of them immediately responded by retreating deep into its shell. Disappearing into its shell. The other one stuck its neck out and opened its jaws and threatened me. And I find that interesting behavior.

And so I put them in my truck and I knew there was a place where I could drive down the road for another mile or so I could find a creek and then I would release them in the creek. A little “Free Willy” moment to keep them from being road kill at some point. And so as I put them in the water, just in the water at the side of the creek, in an instant, they were both gone. In the blink of an eye, they had both disappeared.

One did by burrowing into the soft mud at the bottom of the creek, and the other by darking into the deepest water. And I thought, "Wow. Whatever was the predator, whatever was the danger, one of them would have survived." These two opposite behaviors, if you are asking the right question, I get the power of both.

I was a person, until then, that was often known in my entrepreneurial community as the guy who was always preaching, “Focus, focus, focus.” Always be really good at something. And there is still, of course, value in that. But now I began to see that if I have contrary behaviors, contrary solutions to a problem, contrary ideas coming out of a strategy that seem to be contradicting each other, rather than compromise between them, which often of course results in something less than, maybe if I rethink the question, if I rethink the strategy, if I restate it so that I can unleash the power of both of these apparently contrary ideas that I might have the most powerful solution of all.

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