In business we have two choices; we either follow or we lead. I often use the example of a flock of birds. The lead bird provides direction but also reduces air drag so the birds behind can fly for longer distances. In business the market leader is the one with the new idea, the innovator, the one willing to step out on the skinny branches, naked. They’ve seen the future, they’ve made a decision, they’ve made changes and they stand ready to be criticized but know without a shadow of a doubt their decision is solid. Companies are like birds, many choose to follow once they see success and very few are willing to take the risk of being the leader to create success.
One of the key components in a leader is their ability to see and somewhat predict the future. If you want to be the leader in your industry, in your market you must regularly “pop your head up” from the day to day and see what’s going on around you. What do I mean by that? Well, what are your competitors doing? What’s going on in your market, your state or for that matter, the world? Today everything is interconnected and as they say, it flows from the top down. So, it stands to reason that we must make information gathering a part of our routine.
Here’s the rub, when you pop your head up and take a minute to get off your wheel wonderful and bad things happen. The question is, will you be able to manage the information you take in? Can you connect the dots? Decide what’s relevant? See the possibilities through the chaos?
They say ignorance is bliss. But I believe this is not true, ignorance will free your mind from the negativity in the world but it will also keep you from knowing the solution. Ignorance creates followers waiting to be given the solution. Yes, knowledge can create a certain amount of fear, but the fear of the unknown is much greater. With knowledge we can create success and more importantly take the lead!
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