Opposites Complement for Business Success

Opposites Complement for Business Success

Abstract: Opposites attract – they sure do. In the business world, we must mix management styles and personality types of leaders for stability and solid success of an organization. Let’s see a few examples in actual life.

We have often heard romantic tales of romances where the tall, dark, handsome boy meets a pale, fair-complexioned girl and they fall in love with each other. After a lot of obstacles, fighting, and misunderstandings, they finally realize that they love each other and live happily ever after. This happens both in novels and also in actual life.

Now let’s leave the mushy world of romance behind and walk over to the hard reality of business life. Do opposites attract here also? And is the outcome positive when the alchemy works? You got it wrong – here I am not talking of boy meets girl.

In the business world, we need to marry management styles and personalities. The aim is to achieve faster, better decision-making, risk-taking, and business growth. When the Board of a company is filled with like-minded people, there is not much creativity, no originality, and therefore not much room for spectacular successes!

It is when complements come together in the Board Room we see the sparks of genius fly and companies reach up to the stars. These differing personalities respect one another … mostly because they realize they depend on one another’s psychological strengths and weaknesses to attract success.

Let us take the example of two managers, Larry and Kit. Larry was slow of speech. He had a tremendous memory and would remember all the details of the statistics, the reports, and emails that he had received even a year back. When asked for a decision he would take his time, evaluate all the various bits and pieces of evidence he had with respect to the issue on hand … and then he would give his opinion.

Kit, on the other hand, was very dynamic, very aggressive, and fast in making decisions. He depended on his decisions on how the issue had been presented to him, what he knew of the issue and what he felt with his heart.

Now place both Kit and Larry in the same Board Room to make the crucial decisions about a company. The discussion was about the design of the latest version of the motherboard for a switch. How much memory should it have?

The software team as usual wanted an enormous amount of memory and faster speeds. Was it possible to provide it in the hardware? Kit did some fast calculations and said Yes; hardware could provide the desired speeds.

Then Larry slowly nudged Kit, told him a few statistics, and after consulting with each other both Kit and Larry came up with the decision that only 70% of the speed requested could be provided because of reasons a, b and c. The software team was asked to revise their design to make do with the new hardware specifications.

One other day when one team wanted a quick decision and Larry was pondering about it, Kit walked in. Kit gave a few leads and triggered off the links in Larry’s mind, and together they could decide immediately.

This marriage of logical thought and empathetic heartfelt manner of deciding gave the company a very good balanced management. The impulsive, on-the-spot decision making, risk-taking attitude of Kit could achieve outstanding success when it was combined with the logical thinking and slow deliberations of Larry.

Take the case of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Here too we have a case of opposites complementing each other, and the rest is history with the successful sustenance of Microsoft during its formative days.


[1] Naseem Mariam, Article “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in the design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001–2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an eBook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.