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Leadership & Business Wisdom

SUCCESS ALWAYS CREATES NEW REALITIES

ONLY THE FAIRY STORY ENDS “THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.”

Success always obsoletes the very behavior that achieved it. It always creates new realities. It always creates, above all, its own and different problems. It is not easy for the management of a successful company to ask, “What is our business?” Everybody in the company thinks that the answer is so obvious as not to deserve discussion. It is never popular to argue with success, never popular to rock the boat. But the management that does not ask “What is our business?” when the company is successful is, in effect, smug, lazy, and arrogant. It will not be long before success will turn into failure.

The two most successful American industries of the 1920s were anthracite coal mines and railroads. Both believed that God had given them an unshakable monopoly forever. Both believed that the definition of their business was so obvious as to eliminate all need for thought, let alone for action. Neither need have tumbled from its leadership position – the anthracite industry into total oblivion – had their managements not taken success for granted. Above all: when a management attains the company’s objectives, it should always ask seriously, “What is our business?” This requires self-discipline and responsibility. The alternative is decline.

ACTION POINT: Pick a product or service of your organization. How is the market share computed? What is your share of the market? Broaden your definition of the market (for example, from railroad to transportation). What is your share of the broader market?

THE OPPORTUNITY-FOCUSED ORGANIZATION

PERFORMING ORGANIZATION ENJOY WHAT THEY’RE DOING.

Organizations have gravity, the weight is constantly being pushed into being problem-focused, and one has to fight it all the time. Not very many organizations are good at what I call “exploitation of success.” Look at what is today the world’s largest consumer-electronics entertainment company: Sony. Basically, all Sony has ever done is run with the tape recorder and build on its success. But if you build that into the organization and demand it from everybody, then you create a receptivity for being opportunity-focused it from everybody, then you create a receptivity for being opportunity-focused rather than problem-focused. And above all, you create enjoyment. I know this is not the academically respectable thing to say, but performing organizations enjoy what they’re doing. I’ m always asked how I know what kind of an organization to accept as a client. When you walk through the door, you know in two minutes whether they enjoy it. And if they don’t enjoy it, then I’d rather not work for them. But if they like it and they feel that tomorrow is going to be better – that creates a totally different climate.

ACTION POINT: Do what you enjoy.

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”

TUPAC SHAKUR

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete proving nature’s laws wrong it learned 2 walk without having feet”

TUPAC SHAKUR

“In the beginning, some people try to appear that everything about them is “in black and white,” until later their true colors come out.”

ANTHONY LICCIONE

“The road is a word, conceived elsewhere and laid across the country in the wound prepared for it: a word made concrete and thrust among us.”

WENDELL BERRY

“Basically, Sherri’s idea had to do with bringing Fat’s mind down from the cosmic and the abstract to the particular. She had hatched out the practical notion that nothing is more real than a large World War Two Soviet tank.”

PHILIP K. DICK

“Your dreams are like the cement. If you water it with actions, it becomes a hard concrete mass. But if you leave it exposed and unwatered, the air will easily blow it away!”

ISRAELMORE AYIVOR

“Concrete breathes sun’s heat.”

CAMERON CONAWAY

“Please don´t drown into his fears, his concrete fists don´t let him again, break the bridge of your nose with his cruel born hits. Then disappear into that mask of misery.”

ANTHONY LICCIONE

“A concrete city creates concrete-people! But what the humanity needs is flower-people, cloud-people, stream-people, butterfly-people, and forest-people!”

MEHMET MURAT ILDAN

“Writing makes it even harder than concrete. Writing makes it hard as diamond.”

CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN

“And second, keep in mind that you are a weapon. In theory, when you’re done with training, you should be able to kick a hole in a wall or knock out a moose with a single punch.”

“I would never hit a moose,” said Clary. “They’re endangered.”

CASSANDRA CLARE

“I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace.”

NATALIE LLOYD

“You don’t know what a trial it is to be —like me. I’ve got to keep my face like steel in the street to keep men from winking at me.”

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

“…a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.”

NELSON ALGREN

“It’s only a scratch, don’t cut my arm off!”

CARRIE VAUGHN

“Stone, steel, dominions pass,
Faith too, no wonder;
So leave alone the grass
That I am under.”

A.E. HOUSMAN

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