Businessman With Ball And Chain

Last week, I was in Sydney, Australia, where I conducted a workshop for some very successful and smart people. It was energizing and challenging to work with them, precisely because they are so capable. 

Here’s what I learned from them:

Synthesis of what we already know is as important as learning new things. Click To Tweet

The pursuit of “new stuff” leads very capable people to utterly miss the opportunity to use what they know. When people do this, they get stuck. Particularly, they get stuck on:

  • A methodology.
  • A process.
  • The need to be admired.
  • The belief they need more certifications and credentials.

These have a common root. What is it? Fear.

  • The fear of making mistakes.
  • The fear of looking foolish.
  • The fear of being diminished in the eyes of others.
  • The fear that our evaluation of ourselves will suffer. 

Yet, those who gained the most from our work, were the ones who could let go of their methodologies, processes, mindset, etc. in order to create something new. They synthesized, streamlined, and simplified – and they did it fast. They were nothing if not adaptable. Were they afraid of looking foolish? Maybe, but the possible gains from stepping into new territory were far greater than the risks. They knew this and acted accordingly.

The ability to simplify, synthesize and move things in the right direction is valuable in any case but never more so than when the stakes are high. When the boat springs a leak is no time to cling to the belief that your last audit showed a solid hull. It’s time to re-think. How do we do that?

Get off the high horse and stay out of the bunker of fear. Abandon the thought that a methodology is going to save us.

Just as the people in the Sydney workshop benefitted from supportive challenge, so do we all.

What are you doing to ensure you don’t get stuck in your business?