There Is No Shortcut

There Is No Shortcut

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cookie Cutters (part II)

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
John F. Kennedy

Why does the corporate world is trying to make everyone identical? It is easier to manage.

Same standards for everyone, same objectives. Somehow, people should have equally the same strengths than their peers. Don’t be special, be manageable.

Does that sound like a being a genetically manipulated cow or what!

People that achieve higher than normal success did not follow the same regimen as everyone else. They did not believe in common wisdom or that you should follow the same path. To a certain degree you should (education, technical skills), but for the rest, you should capitalize on your strengths and not on your weaknesses. Michael Jordan was not great at defence in the beginning (he comes around often in this blog!), but he improved the level his best skills so much that he actually became great at it! Even then, he had Dennis Rodman has a major defensive player.

The world strives for conformity. It is simpler to think that all Asian like rice and all Black people love chicken. It is easier to think that then trying to find deeper layers to one person. You can hear the voice in your head; play it safe.

How to break out of this cocoon? It is actually quite simple. Be yourself. Be honest about what you can do and cannot do. Focus on being exceptionally good at what you do best. With such level of mastery, you will evolve. These weaknesses will be overshadowed by those grand skills. Being the best at everything is quite challenging and time consuming.

We have seen many people trying to be good at everything and failing miserably. Focus is key here. Jack Welch said for GE that they will either be number 1 or 2 on their business segment or they get out of that business.

On your road to the 10K, you will have many choices to make,that will define who you will be. Remember that you can only be good at a very few things, but those few things will transcend those things that you are absolutely awful at.

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