Of the many issues with which we wrestle each day, one certain truth is: the future will not look like the present. Competition, human creativity, and high technology will redefine the future. Yet many leaders continue to lead, manage, and operate as they have in the past.
“There is a story by Price Pritchett in which he recounts his experience of viewing firsthand a life and death struggle that occurred just a few feet away from where he was sitting. He was watching a fly burn out the last of its short life’s energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of a windowpane. The frenzied effort of the fly gave no hope for survival. Ironically, had the fly just flown in another direction, it could have easily escaped through an open door.”
All too often, we are like the fly. Instead of trying harder, doing the same things, we need to do different things. We must break the shackles of conformity, challenge the routine, and break out of existing paradigms. At the core of succeeding in today’s competitive environment is the ability to constantly improve, and reinvent the way we do business. The key to working smarter is knowing the difference between motion and direction, between activity and focused action.
To lead, we must be adept at balancing what must stay constant with what must change. Nurture a culture in which people are encouraged to seek new and better methods, while feeling secure in the familiar and in the future success of their organization. Align all resources and strategies toward the realization of the vision and goals.