The power of two applies not just romantically, but also professionally and personally. Frequently, when we think about successful people, we think of an individual. But more often than not, there are two: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Gianni and Donatella Versace, Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton…I can go on.
A few days ago, I watched the Lifetime documentary on Donatella Versace. Gianni is often recognized as the creator of the Versace fashion line, but Donatella was his muse, his inspiration. In relationships I refer to individuals such as these two as the home and the hype. The home is the stable and grounded person, while the hype person brings the excitement and inspiration, makes you feel unstoppable. Without the hype, the home is simple and uneventful—which is not to say powerless and not dynamic, but just not as obvious or easily recognized. The home can often be overlooked.
Each plays an important part in the relationship. Three key elements are vital: selflessness, supplement, and support.
- Selflessness (a spiritual quality) is the maturity and desire to put others ahead of your goals, objectives, and dreams. It can be difficult to fully understand the power of two when you’ve always been one. But once you have a #2 and lose that person, you understand the absence (loss) of your full potential as a result of no longer having a worthy complement. Would there be a Barack without a Michelle, a Bill without a Hillary? Without Donatella, Gianni would have been an over-the-top dressmaker—no polish, no panache; Donatella brought the shine.
- Supplement (an emotional characteristic) is the ability to underwrite in money and resources someone else’s inefficiencies in order to make them better. It’s the emotional props we need that are often undergirded by deeds and finances, outward demonstrations of emotional support. People don’t support what they don’t love or feel emotionally connected to. Furthermore, it’s NOT one-sided; both individuals should receive emotional support or the relationship is ill fated.
- Support (a physical component) is your ability to show up. It’s easy enough to give money and resources, but there is something additional about another’s physical presence that actively demonstrates that you are valued and appreciated. Physical presence shows that a person is engaged—professionally, being there, for example, to watch a colleague receive an award; personally, celebrating in person at birthdays; and romantically, willing to be inconvenienced when you know it will make your other half happy.
A question to ponder…Who is your #2?