I saw the movie Rocketman over the weekend – the musical biopic about the genius and struggles of Elton John. As important, the movie is also a tribute to Bernie Taupin and the power of collaboration.

Taupin wrote the lyrics for Elton John’s music – for 50 years. John would translate Taupin’s poems into musical magic. They worked together on over 30 albums and he penned the words for most of Elton’s hits including Candle in the Wind, Crocodile Rock, Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Daniel, and Your Song.

What stuck with me from the movie is that this dynamic duo found each other through pure chance. Both answered a newspaper advertisement looking for songwriters and were paired anonymously when Elton revealed he only wrote music and Taupin noted he only wrote lyrics. The two had personal chemistry as well as musical symmetry and remain friends as well as collaborators five decades later.

We often expend great energy trying to find the “right” partner for our projects or ventures, but sometimes fate does just as good of a job. Take a lesson from John and Taupin and put yourself out there – answering ads, joining groups, writing a blog or posting on social media – and see if destiny or serendipity doesn’t intervene to match you with someone who can work in concert with you.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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