We’ve all heard about them. And still they baffle
us. How do they do it? Is it even imaginable that my company ever could become
They’re the businesses everybody talks about. The
ones continually leaving everyone gasping in their wakes. When, just about the
time we figure out what they’ve done to set themselves so far ahead … they do
it again … Da#* It!
Their successes signal a winding down of our
legacy model for business success. Anchored in the ideas of stability, steady
progress and conservatism. And increasingly, we are seeing examples of a new
model in businesses at all levels.
Not only big ones, like Apple, which cannibalized
the PC with a laptop and then invented the iPod, which they killed with a
phone. Then, eclipsed them all with an iPad, and on-and-on-and-on.
We see the same examples in smaller businesses.
That often become big ones. Like Jim McCann, who started out as a social worker
planting flowers as part of a therapy program. Then, went to work in a flower
shop, which he bought, and then turned into 1-800-flowers.com. Which he turned
into the single-largest gift conglomerate in the U.S.
Can a small or mid-size owner do the “Apple
thing?” Well, sure! How?
It starts at the top. If you’re wondering why
your business isn’t like Jim McCann’s, or whether yours could be, go straight
to the heart of the matter. Look in the mirror.
Mahatma Ghandi, generally viewed as one of the
world’s great thinkers, said: “A man is but the product of his thoughts … what
he thinks he becomes.”
Another of my favorite thinkers from the 19th
century said: “We must for perfect models in thought and look at them
continually … or we will never carve out grand and noble lives.”
My message to you: Think and you will become.
Dream big. Make time in your life at work to be by yourself and contemplate
what you could be. Then shed yourself of every activity that can be done by
someone else. Follow your thinking, and “carve out grand and noble lives!”