“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love the “&” sign!

In his book Built to Last, Jim Collins talks about the genius of the “and” over the tyranny of the “or”, and having to choose one or the other. But you don’t have to choose just one.

When I changed the name of the firm to Lawrence & Co, we really thought about that sign and its meaning for me.

Our firm’s philosophy for more than 25 years, has been about creating an exciting, enduring, amazing business in our careers, & living a great life. Too many successful high performers are not excited about their lives, so the genius of the & is to truly bring two challenging things together.

It has always had been about inclusion versus exclusion.

I thought about this at brunch recently when I saw three spectacular-looking Eggs Benedict options on the menu. It was hard to decide, but since I like to share my partner ordered one, and I the other. Such a simple strategy to get the genius of “and” versus “or”! We got to enjoy both without eating too much.

In business, we have many situations where we think we have to choose between speed and quality or cost, or between purpose and profit, or between engaging employees or expecting higher output.

That’s often limited or unsophisticated thinking. If you put the energy in, as thinking and brainstorming takes time, you can often have epiphanies of very simple solutions to bring two challenging and opposing things together.

A little more complicated than sharing Eggs Benedict, but you get the idea.

The Challenge

  • Look at a decision you need to make when you’re trying to choose between two variables.
  • Talk to your team. Sit and brainstorm to bring your ideas together.
  • Focus on a solution to how can you make it an & – a choice that includes the two variables.

For more about this, listen to Episode 75 of The Growth Whisperers.


Lawrence & Co’s work focuses on sustainable and enhanced growth for you and your business. Our diverse and experienced group of advisors can help your leaders and executive teams stay competitive through the use of various learning tools including workshops, webinars, executive retreats, or one-to-one coaching.

We help high-achieving leaders to have it all – a great business and a rewarding life. Contact us for simple and impactful advice. No BS. No fluff.