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Beyonce & Circles of Collaboration

I am writing a book with Leslie Grossman (founder of Her Circle Leadership) about women and circles of collaboration, which have a history almost as long as womankind has been on Earth. More on that later.

Part of our premise is that when you put together circles of collaboration around your goals, a project, or anything you have in mind for success, you can accomplish—well, pretty much anything. And, as social media and the internet have widened our ability to create circles of people to support us, the sky's the limit. You just have to structure it, draw it (thank God everyone can draw a circle, right?), and include the people in it. Then it's a question of execution with those in your circles.

One of our examples of someone who has intertwining circles of success around her trajectory to song stardom is Brandi Carlile. No one, until now that is, has used our circle methodology in music the way she has. You can buy the book (looking at a June launch) to find more about Brandi. But now there's a new girl in town.

Beyoncé. Already a legend but was feeling, over the last few years, out of touch or unrecognized by her peers. When I look at her career, I think maybe she was just too isolated, not enough circles of collaboration around her small circle for safety. But, she hasn't called me to chat about what actually happened, so I will set that aside for now.

"Cowboy Carter," Beyoncé's new album, is a collaboration.

Her inner circle collaborations (they are singing with her or commenting) include Willie Nelson (1 million followers), Miley Cyrus (217 million followers), Dolly Parton (7 million), and Malone (26 million followers). Do the math. Yes, that's 250 million possible new fans. I say new because I'm not sure Dolly Parton fans were following Beyoncé before this new album.

And that's just the inner circle.

Let's look at Beyoncé's rendition of the Beatles' "Blackbird." Yep, the over-sixty crowd. I downloaded it this morning. Love it. And, she had Tanner Adell (9.6 million followers), Brittney Spencer (89,000 followers), Tiera Kennedy (43,000 followers), and Reyna Roberts (339,000 followers) join her on the track. I didn't know any of those artists until now. Clearly, they are not in my small circle of collaborators.

Also featured throughout the 27-track project are The-Dream, Pharrell Williams, NO I.D., Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Tedder, Ryan Beatty, Swizz Beatz, Khirye Tyler, Derek Dixie, Ink, Nova Wav, Mamii, Cam, Tyler Johnson, Dave Hamelin, and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

In an interview, Beyoncé said that she hadn't felt "welcomed." She created quite a circle of collaborators. She also said, "This is a Beyoncé album; this is act two of Cowboy Carter, and I'm happy to share it with you."

She didn't say 'we' are happy to share it with you. It's her picture on the cover. Front and center, a single artist taking center stage, but those background singers? Well, you get the picture. There is no question that circles of collaboration will bring you success far greater than one person doing it all.

I hope you will look forward to learning more about the research we have done, the anecdotal evidence around creating thoughtful circles for your journey to greatness. Our book is a collaboration of a lot of people's journeys and the start of one of our own circles of success paths.


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