Our story narratives from a young age are often compelled by historical characters who bring real change. While we often look to one hero for inspiration, there is something powerful and life-giving about a great second to individuals striving toward a goal.
Whether it be Lewis and Clark, John Lennon and Paul McCartney or Woody and Buzz Lightyear, partners have the unique ability to contribute great strength and motivation to the dreams that both are seeking to pursue.
We can often try to achieve all of our goals on our own. But some iconic partnerships remind us that learning and leaning on others not only impacts our visions but can significantly enrich our passion and influence.
In history, film and pop culture, countless famed figures have often had a great second, who has offered a priceless influence on these individuals' contributions to the world. Here are five exemplary partners whose impact on each other has also deeply shaped and impacted our world:
- Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill
The relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Winston Churchill has long been marveled as fascinating and historically paramount. In leadership together, the two encountered several firsts. Churchill was the United Kingdom's longest-serving prime minister, and Queen Elizabeth was the longest-serving monarch. Churchill was 25-years-old when he was elected a Member of Parliament, and Elizabeth was 25 when she was crowned queen. Most significantly, Churchill mentored the queen on the complex matters of law, politics and practices of constitutional monarchy, which brought a seamlessness to their partnered leadership and greatly benefitted the many countries which came under the reign of the queen.
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page
Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford University while studying for Ph.D.'s in computer science. In 1998 the two launched Google, and later Google's PageRank algorithm. In 2015 the two went on to create Alphabet, which includes Google, Nest, Calico and other entities that continue to expand the reach and world of Google. Google is now one of the largest companies in the world.
- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
Most of us know the name Steve Jobs, but Steve Wozniak is a new "Steve" many haven't heard of. Referred to at times as "the other Steve," Steve Wozniak is an American computer scientist, inventor and programmer who helped bring the magic and technological life to Apple. Alongside Jobs, Wozniak invented the Apple I computer and moved on to found Apple Computers in 1976 with Ronald Wayne, delivering some of the first personal computers on the market.
- William Procter and James Gamble
William Procter had emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio, from England and found himself in the career of candle-making, an industry that was rapidly expanding in the early 19th century. James Gamble had arrived in the city from Ireland, a soap-maker. The two, both with individual entrepreneurial ventures in mind, ended up marrying sisters Olivia and Elizabeth Norris. When their father-in-law, Alexander Norris, noticed the two would often compete for the same raw materials, he suggested they start a joint venture. By October 31, 1837, the two signed a partnership agreement that founded the Procter & Gamble Company, the second-largest consumer goods manufacturer in the world.
- Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill
When Republican President Ronald Reagan entered the White House, it was known that he and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill struggled to see eye to eye. As The New Yorker puts it, early on, the two Irish-Americans "had been known as bitter enemies." Later, the two came to discover a mutual understanding when they announced an agreement to form the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 and also set up a bipartisan commission on Social Security. The following year, the two endorsed a set of reforms to give the finances of public retirement a firmer foundation. In their personal lives, they also were at each other's sides at their darkest times. O'Neill prayed by Reagan's hospital bedside after an attempted assassination. Following O'Neill's death, Reagan headlined a fundraiser to raise money to build the O'Neill Library at O'Neill's alma mater, Boston College. To this day, the two are remembered for their historic political friendship.
The dreams and passions we carry are not always made to be completed on our own. While we can often idolize and idealize seeing through these visions on our own, we must not forget the impact that a great second offers us.
Famed duos often not only have a lasting impact on us but remind us that the power of two is often better than one.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of "Framework Leadership." A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern's president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Read Kent Ingle's Reports — More Here.
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