Much of life today seems based on binary world -- good or evil, right or wrong, democrat or republican. It seems as if there unfortunately is very little middle ground. I doubt anything that involves people is ever 100%. 100% is even hard in science. Just think about how truly foolish this. Our political two party system has become so binary that there a few citizens that agree with either party. Has individual thought become a crime? Has the public given up spending the time to understand the world around them? Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman is consistent with the core beliefs of his party. He's a great leader that dared not to follow the hard line on Iraq because it made no sense to him. His reward for a good and honorable job was to have his party turn on him. It's very telling though that when he ran as an Independent the voters followed him and was re-elected.
Humans are considered physically binary. Left brain, right brain, left limb and right limb. Stepping back even for one second and we can see connecting and balancing the two sides is a middle connector. Two of this are countered by one of that. Two eyes and ears but one mouth and nose. Even the left right matching parts don't match. One leg is bigger than the other, one hand is stronger. Even nature cries out with a balance of three. Think of how many times three comes up in religion. The Holy Trinity, Christ crucified with two criminals on his left and right. The Eastern Orthodox religion performs many spiritual rituals or pronouncements three times. Three strikes you're out and bad things come in three's. It's even in art. Many amateurs take photographs with the subject dead center -- visually binary. These same individuals appreciate the beauty of art which is frequently based on the composition of thirds. It's as if their subconscious was reminding them of three's.
By now you're wondering where I'm going with this -- as well you should if you're a critical thinker. Three's first came to the forefront in a college psychology class with the concept of the three selves. Self you are, self you think you are and self that others see. If you measured these three they would be constant fluctuating with a long term equity between the three. Examine true evil, mental anguish or depression and you'll find the three out of balance. It's a great way to understand ourselves and how we interact with others. Equality isn't totally required but balance is.
Now lets think about a General in war. Here we have another three that I call the quandary of motivation. A General or any leader for that matter must balance self, team and the mission. A leader has a sense of self or wouldn't have been recognized as a leader. Still the Generals decisions aren't based on self interest but on the mission with consideration for the team -- soldiers. If the team doesn't survive your not there to fight another day. If you don't focus on mission, the battle is lost. Soldiers are placed in harms way to complete the mission. Talk to any real soldier and you'll be told that his brothers on his left and right come before him. Remember that that soldier is also on someone's left and another's right. Despite that band of brothers structure the mission must have priority. One can't forget that the success of the mission insure the safety and freedom of those that stayed behind.
Applying the quandary of motivation to business the downside isn't as dire but the concept still fits. There must be a leader but if that leader is totally selfish the team will become ineffective and the success of the mission will be in question. Team first never works. Communes in business, religion and society have proved themselves to be failures that sounded like good ideas in the beginning. A team without the goal of a mission won't achieve and the enterprise will fail. When mission is the only consideration the team over time will loose its sense of brotherhood. Unfortunately, mission first may seem to function well but that won't last. There are of course other factors that impact what we do but breaking things down into three's makes everything more clear and points us in the right direction.