Steve Jobs was famous for his preparation. He held himself to such a high standard for his presentations that he drove himself and his teams to exhaustion. He was relentless and demanded the same of his teams. No one wanted to catch his wrath.
Apple is one of the greatest business success stories in our country’s history. The numbers are astounding, and he drove that success against the wind. He broke the rules. He created channel conflict with his Apple stores. Everyone told him not to, but he didn’t listen. The stores pulled in revenue, built the brand, and thrived in the malls during the Great Recession when others struggled.
Jobs practiced a known attribute of professional golfers. There are many scratch golfers in the world, but there are far fewer golf professionals. And then there are the successful touring pros. One of their sayings is, “Amateurs practice to get it right. Professionals practice so they won’t get it wrong.”
When under pressure, we want to rely on our preparation to be in the moment. I am at my best as a facilitator or coach when I am fully present. I don’t need to look at my notes and worry about my material. How prepared are you and your teams?
Digital transformation is bringing massive change. If you are thinking your business won’t be affected, you are on your way to extinction. It might come from a startup. It might come from a competitor getting ready before you do. It might come from someone figuring out how your goods or services aren’t needed at all. When’s the last time you had your film developed? Or sent a fax? Or bought typewriter correction fluid? Where’s your Rolodex?
Get ready. Prepare yourself and your organization. The rules you know simply will not apply. Some forecasters say the majority of jobs in our country will not exist in 10 years (or less). Sixty-five percent of our grade schoolers will have jobs that do not currently exist.
So look to your future. Get inside the minds of younger, smart people. See what they see. And prepare.
Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.