Writing for All About Jazz, music critic David Rickert stated that the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong collaborations were “a match made in heaven” and, “Their work together is a highlight of the 1950s, a busy time for classic vocal jazz records, and both were in fine form on these dates, Fitzgerald’s sweetly melodic voice contrasting nicely with Armstrong’s coarse rasp.”

When two superstars choose to work together it creates a synergy that often becomes its own thing, a third body. I am reminded of the poem by Robert Bly:

A Third Body

A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born
in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not-talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.
A man and a woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

My experience working in organizations tells me that this is what many leaders are looking for, that higher being that is the organization, more than the sum of all the people and assets, a super-consciousness that elevates its mission and regularly delivers more than can be asked of any one person.

I have experienced this myself many times in life, in a team that really works together, jams together, and cultivates that mutual support that lifts everyone’s game.

Where might you look for this kind of synergy in your life this week?


“Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.”

– Stephen Covey