No surprises

Winning and (not) losing is the focus for many.

But that doesn’t matter.

What truly matters is:

  1. Have you given it all you could?
  2. What could you do differently next time so that all you have to give is a bit more than this time?

Wins and losses are outcomes, you can’t control those.

Focus on the input instead.

No surprises there.

In praise of average

One of the things people misunderstand about average is that it is not necessarily stable over time.

Average can scale, it can get things done, it can make a difference in the long term.

It’s just a matter of consistency and perspective.

Just easier

Knowing yourself – what you stand for, what you want to achieve, how you like things done, what you want to avoid – is important mainly because it saves you from the frustration of not being able to have it all.

You can have control and you can have agility. You can’t have them both.

You can have family time and you can have a glorious career. You can’t have them both.

You can have independence and you can have stability. You can’t have them both.

When you know yourself, you know what matter, and letting go of things is just easier.

Note: of course, there are exceptions. Some people can have one and the other. But exceptions are rare, and betting on them is often conducive to further frustration.

Blaming people

It’s easy to blame it on people.

They’re not fast enough.

They’re not good enough.

They can’t sell.

They don’t know what they are doing.

They are a wrong fit.

They don’t know how to take criticism.

But when that happens all the time, it’s likely that the problem is in the system.

Do you onboard people well enough?

Do they know what is expected of them?

Do you talk to them and listen?

Do you give them space and freedom to operate?

Do you say when things are not working?

That’s much more difficult to fix. And if you don’t do that, you’ll keep blaming it on people.

Bureaucratic mindset

Bureaucracy is there mainly because somebody wants to save their ass.

Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to take a chance, or because they feel the risk is too high, or because they prefer not to be bothered rethinking a process that has worked once, or because they are disturbed by the chaos that different opinions and ways would bring about, or because nobody has ever done it before.

Bureaucracy puts an end to all that and it protects somebody’s ass. It’s infuriating, unnerving, impossible to understand. But it’s safe.

Bureaucracy is inevitable in many aspects of life, but a bureaucratic mindset can sneak in places where it should probably not be.

Like a team, or a project that aims at being innovative.

That’s what you need to be careful about.