"It takes 2 to make a thing go right! It takes 2 to make it out of sight!"1Those lyrics are from a 1988 Top 40 platinum-selling song by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, who initially made the song with samples from another song written in 1972 by James Brown and performed by Lyn Collins called "Think (About It)." These lyrics succinctly sum up my convictions as an executive leader. Over the last 20 years, I have served in various executive leadership positions from the federal government to the nonprofit sector to the corporate world, and I felt the need to share experiences––mine and those of others––that have contributed to the success of those organizations. If the greatest basketball player of all times is Michael Jordan, then I would say he never won a ring until Scottie Pippen matured as his sidekick. It may take one to lead a great organization, but it takes two to make it out of sight. It Takes 2: Who is Helping You Lead? is designed to help senior leaders understand the need for having quality executive support leaders on their team and how to find them. Also, the book is designed to inspire and encourage those who serve in executive leadership support roles (affectionately referred to as the 2man or woman) to embrace their uniqueness in helping lead their organizations from the second, third, or fourth chair. These objectives are what sets this book apart from other titles on the same subject because it is written to both leaders and their supporters.In 2006, I talked with Odell Dickerson and Derrick Noble about the need for developing resources to help train and encourage people who serve in roles similar to theirs because there wasnt much material out there. We also noticed how many secondary leaders lacked the training, support, and resources to help them be successful in their unique position. Most conferences and books are targeted to senior leaders but not to the executive support leadership staff. Along the journey, I saw great executive support leaders help lead the companies that they worked for, experience the best that life has to offer and make major impact without having to be impressive. They were some of the greatest leaders, creative minds, innovators, and game-changers that I had met. The world has felt their impact but just may not have known their names. But when I went back to learn from these leaders and to be enamored by their work, in most cases, I discovered that they were no longer serving in those positions. Instead, they had transitioned to what they perceived as a promotion or an elevation of sorts. Yes, you guessed it. They had left the #2 seat in order to become a #1; and, sadly, in more than 90 percent of those cases, they have never been heard of again. I am a firm believer that it does take two (and three and four and more) to make things go right in an organization. Whether in the corporate world, the religious sector, nonprofit organizations, government, sports, and entertainment, no one man or woman can build a winning tradition without help.My objective in writing this book is a dual one. I want to help senior leaders (whom I refer to as 1s) understand the need for having quality executive support leaders on their team and how to find them. And I want to inspire and encourage those who serve in executive leadership support roles (whom I affectionately refer to as 2Men, or 2s) to embrace their uniqueness in helping lead their organizations from the second, third, or fourth chair. I am motivated because I am tired of seeing great 2s leave their posts to become ordinary 1s.
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