What Great Leaders Do: Observe not copy.
This has to be the biggest landmine of the internet. It’s far to easy to get enough of someone’s story to try and copy it. We figure if we do a good enough job copying, we’ll find the same success as said person we’re copying. But great leaders don’t do this. Neither do great artists, musicians, authors. They observe the best. They learn from the best. They steal a few ideas from the best. But they don’t full on copy. This would be counter productive because they know long-term this is a game they can’t win.
This week: Find some leaders (or artists, writers, what ever it is that you ultimately want to do) to observe. Take a few notes. Read a blog post. Listen to a podcast. As you do, take notes. What are the principles you can draw out? What are the tips to help you in your craft? Don’t look for a formula. Don’t look for the step by step of how to do exactly what they do. Figure out how to apply what they do to your circumstances, options, skills, situation.
Here’s an example of how this messed with me years ago. I was working hard as a writer on the side. I was putting in the hours, but not getting as far as I wanted to. I started looking at some “experts” on time management and life hacking. I wanted to maximize my output. The problem was, I was trying to apply their formula, which worked for their particular season of life. It however, did not work for me. At the time I had 2 infants along with a wife a full-time job (that required travel) and other responsibilities I was juggling. I was trying to copy their formula for success and it just wasn’t working. So now, I look for the principle in the message, but when the messenger is so far removed from my circumstances, I don’t look for much more. This is like looking to implement the schedule and habits of a Fortune 500 CEO and you’re a start-up entrepreneur. Sure, there’s something you can learn, but if you copy his day to day routine, your start-up will be toast!
What I’m Reading: Warren Buffet’s Advice to get ahead? Read 200 books a year. 200 books a year?!!! I thought my goal of 52 was aggressive. Then you look at the breakdown of how to accomplish it and it doesn’t seem that crazy. Maybe I’ll bump my goal up a bit.
Have an awesome week!