In the book “Built to Last,” a study of highly successful companies, the authors identified rejecting the “Tyranny of the OR” and embracing the “Genius of the AND” as one of the habits of highly successful leaders. 
They found that one of the real powers behind these companies was that their leaders didn't settle for the lesser of two good options. Instead, great leaders realized that many choices were false dichotomies, meaning that they were both possible and they didn't have to choose between them.
These great leaders embraced the Genius of the AND instead of settling for the Tyranny of the OR.
False dichotomies rule many of our lives until we realize that we don't have to choose between two great options. Society tells us that we have to make choices like these:
Be there for your kids, OR be successful at work.
Spend money on fun stuff OR be wealthy.
Eat food you love OR be healthy.
Do something you love OR make a lot of money.
Get married OR have great sex.
Embrace the Genius of the AND
You can turn around all of these statements by embracing the genius of the AND. You don't have to choose between two good options; that's what the authors meant by rejecting the tyranny of the or. When you realize that most of life is like a multiple choice quiz with more than one right answer, things start to turn around.
Be there for your kids, AND be successful at work.
Spend money on fun stuff AND be wealthy.
Eat food you love AND be healthy.
Do something you love AND make a lot of money.
Get married AND have great sex.
Don't settle for the tyranny of the OR. Embrace the genius of the AND!
About the Author
Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.
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