Two Plus Two Equals Five

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The definition of synergy is often simplified by the formula, "two plus two equals five."

Leaders continually seek ways to create synergy for investments in processes and people. We invest to increase, not simply to break even.

Simple addition isn't the correct mathematical operation for the growth of an organization. Multiplication creates sustainability. The decisions that leaders make today will impact the future. Adding is not enough.

Consider the multiplier effect of one training class focused on one basic principle. Assume that we only taught one key principle. If 12 people learn the concept, the multiplier effect is at least 12. As the twelve begin to operate in the newly learned principle, perhaps others learn the principle and multiplication escalates.

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The disciples were taught by a Master Teacher. The principles learned by the disciples continue to be taught today. Discipleship is simply another word for multiplication.

Think about this list of other forms of multiplication:

  • One idea from a new book. How many times will the new idea be used over the course of life?
  • Listening to people who don't think like I think. Challenged thinking multiplies new thoughts.
  • Travel. New venues open up new opportunities worth multiplying
  • Critique. Coaching improves productivity. The impact of improved performance is a powerful multiplier.
  • Technology. The microchip is a logical example of multiplication. The chips continue to make everything faster, quicker and arguably, better.

Leaders are compelled to cause multiplication of best practices. As systems and processes are created, the net effect creates measurable synergy. Once started, it's difficult to stop the flow of an effective multiplier.

Lord, help us to wake-up every morning with a vision for multiplication.


"He said, 'To what shall we liken the kingdom of God, or with what parable shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed which, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest seed on earth. Yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all shrubs, and shoots out great branches, so that the birds of the air may nest in its shade'" (Mark 4:30-32).


Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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