Mutual

Mutual implies separate parties jointly sharing in progress.  Mutual describes assorted groupings where multiple entities combine to create more value.  In finance, mutual funds are groups of individual stocks that are brought together to deliver maximized returns for investors while minimizing the investment’s risk.  In relationships, mutual satisfaction is the goal of two people coming together trying to please themselves individually.  Together, each individual has an expectation of more fulfillment.  Additionally, a mutual goal is the purpose behind the collaboration of the group members.  The mutual goal is the win-win reflecting the reason behind the collaboration in the first place.

Whether combining stocks or engaging personal relationships, collaborative interactions are expected to deliver superior value.  A basket of equities have been shown to outperform the typical individual stockholding.  Couples, working together for a better life, illustrate a common expectation among marriages and romantic relationships. For another example, consider the business value of entering a transaction through a mutual friend.  A business referral is simply a coordinated introduction between two friends that have a mutual contact, but do not know each other.  The trust and value from the established relationships are transferred to include the third party, consequently creating a new relationship.  People doing business with people through mutual contacts is fundamental to the inner workings of capitalism.

But, what about the individual?  Profits are satisfying.  Loving relationships are satisfying.  But, how does the individual maximize their personal value?  Mutual satisfaction  requires at least two parties and they need to work together so that both parties are pleased.  The individual does not reign supreme, but individual needs do matter.  So, what about those that love money, or love achievement, or love power?  In those cases, mutual satisfaction still requires investing your time and resources toward the desired object.  Ultimately, the reciprocal satisfaction of money, achievement, or power may fail to fulfill, but the essence of “mutual” remains the same.  Deliberately contribute your energy and resources toward these goals with a collaborative partner and the expectation to recognize additional value.  This results in the win-win scenario and an outcome pointing straight to mutual benefit!

The ultimate prize in collaboration is mutual benefit.  In reality, teamwork via mutual collaboration creates far more value.  But, the right partners must be involved.  A mutual fund filled with stocks of bad companies will provide poor returns.  No magic exists in having multiple holdings.  The benefit comes from having a carefully, intelligently coordinated effort.  It’s not more partners, it’s the right partners.  Each party needs to know what characteristics and traits they require before collaborating.  An honorable trading partner, an attractive companion, a trustworthy supplier are all eligible for collaboration. In each case, a satisfying relationship creates more than the sum of the parts when the parties truly and intentionally work toward a win-win.  The outcome of a well-executed purpose provides mutual benefit.  And, mutual benefit satisfies!

-The Voice

Inspired by A.S.W.

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