When they worked together they were the best. Everybody said so. Whatever project they were given, it performed beyond expectations. Their meetings usually were festivals of ideas bouncing from one wall to the other. Their brainstorming sessions would frighten the cleverest of directors, because they couldn’t follow. Mostly, when a project was entrusted to them, few people volunteered to assist, even the ambitious ones.
When Laurel and Hardy worked together, people thought it best not to be in their way; one might have thought that Laurel King and Frederic Hardy would be bothered with the nickname that followed them, but they didn’t mind the slightest. They took it as a compliment, because together they created magic. Their last project had generated 150% more than originally expected. Still they remained at project management level, something they didn’t appear to care about.
They brought forth each other greatest qualities; their thought patterns were similar and when one shared one idea, the other could bring it farthest than even the other originally thought. One intern had volunteered for this project; “a newbie who probably would be crying by the end of the day” sneered some people.
Felicity sat down taking notes for the first few minutes before she realized why the staunchest, most loyal members of the company would give up. These two were somehow connected; their brains worked in the same way. After less than 10 minutes, she gave taking notes, and recorded the session on her smartphone instead. Throughout the 3 hour meeting, she listened. She listened and learned. She didn’t interrupt but when they paused she asked pointed questions, which they both answered willingly.
Felicity wasn’t the quickest student in her class, which is why she only found an internship as a lowly assistant, but she was bright nonetheless in other ways. And she was keen to learn. That day she understood something crucial. During the rest of her internship, she observed and learned some more about the two colleagues. She left the company having learned a lot more than what she expected to at the outset.
Five years later when she started her own company, she poached Laurel and Hardy from their previous employer with two words: teamwork, leaders.
Laurel and Frederic were more than a team; between the two of them, they had the capacity to see through the numbers and statistics to paint a complete picture of a project. They could see the linear progression and all the possible detours or curve balls that might be thrown at them. They always aimed at 150% of their targets and looked at all the possible ways to get there. They were also extremely flexible and adjusted to every situation so fast, it scared the brightest analysts of the company. It also frightened their bosses and colleagues who preferred to let them do their things rather than feel stupid.
They worked best together because they could learn from one another and follow each other’s logic. And if someone was willing, they could teach that to others. What Felicity gave them was the opportunity to do it. She wanted more people like them. She wanted to learn from them. She had ideas, but she needed good people to implement them in the best of ways. She gave them the means to do it. And they both thrived in their new roles.
During an interview she was asked about the low turn-over at her company, and the obvious pleasure of her staff to work there. She answered the question with just a few words: ‘It’s all thanks to Laurel and Hardy.’ And left it at that. The interviewer must have felt at a loss, much like herself the first time she sat down with them.