Epic business leaders spend 80% of their time building their own strategy and 20% of the time checking in on the feedback loops from the environment to make sure it is viable and valuable. Too many leaders struggle because they play life in reverse – 80% of the time worrying what others are doing and 20% of the time creating and playing their own game.
Two successful businesses in the world today – Tesla and Apple stand out as examples of this. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are the epitome of leaders who ‘shut their eyes to their critics and sang their own tune’ – forging a pathway for others to follow.
As an amateur artist I am very aware how my inner critic is waiting at my elbow to pounce on my paintings and drawings to tell me how bad they are. This can happen even before the pen touches the paper, crushing creativity and making art a painful experience.
I see this in others as well. Grown men and women lamenting their ‘complete inability to draw’ producing painfully self-conscious scribbles that tell the story of their inner critic.
Yet as leaders when we silence that inner critic and sing through life with our eyes closed to criticism, we can approach our business with a confidence and mindset of self-belief.
Practically speaking, we should resist the urge to visit our LinkedIn first thing in the morning and actively turn away from what everyone else is doing better, bigger and brighter than us. Instead, when we put all our energy into what we believe is the right strategy for ourselves and our business, we build the future we dream of, rather than meekly following the path of others.
Wishing you a week of singing loudly in the shower and in the boardroom.
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About the Author
Catherine Wijnberg is the CEO of Fetola and author of Sheep Will Never Rule the World.