Being broken is the best winning “strategy”.
The stereotype of success these days is based on the notion of perfection; a flawlessness that people believe is somehow responsible for yielding consistent brilliant results.
Successful business strategies are described as ones that get it right the first time. They have amazing insight at the outset to predict with uncanny accuracy what people will desire in products and services. And their creativity unleashes the imagination of the crowd who flock in ridiculously long line ups to buy the latest and the greatest.
Successful people are portrayed in elegant attire, sporting a body image devoid of any unsightly signs of the ordinary. Their body image exudes the winner attitude and destiny.
Does anybody buy this? Does anyone really believe that incredible business performance is a function of getting it right the first time, or that physical perfection is the necessary precondition to personal success?
There are no silver bullets to success in my experience. Rather, success is normally achieved (notwithstanding the odd blistering single magic act that rarely happens) by a series of actions taken in relentless painstaking fashion aided by unmatched sweat, passion and emotion — by being broken in one way or another.
Here are 6 reasons why being broken will get you where you want to go and why being beautiful, while a fashionable notion, is a non-starter for capturing the prize.
If you’re broken you know your first attempt at anything rarely succeeds and that the future “never unfolds as it should” (i.e. the way you hoped it would)
Broken prepares you for the journey of change that every new idea is destined to endure. Broken implies imperfection at the outset, and this is the reality of virtually 99.99% of the solutions we create to the challenges we face.
There are very few immaculately conceived plans and strategies that produce the exact results expected; every plan is flawed in some way with degrees of imperfection that are realized only when the real world does not conform to the assumptions made about it — actual product sales, for example, rarely mirror their original forecast.
So if you enter the race to win knowing full well that your plan is flawed in some way (which you will discover only after you are in the middle of full-on execution), you will be well positioned to spot irregularities and take corrective action.
People who assume their plan will work are not prepared to shift when it doesn’t; their feet are stuck in mud, unable to recover from unexpected body blows.
If you’re broken you know action speaks louder than words
Broken demands action. Broken can’t be productive by pontificating or exercising the intellect; by merely thinking about what has to be done to create a higher level of performance and better results — the brain can’t DO anything.
The only way better outcomes are produced is by taking decisive action in the face of uncertainty; without knowing if what you do will produce the result you want.
Broken promotes the strategy of trying; making as many attempts as you can to accommodate the impact of real world events on your plan, because if you don’t try, little happens in terms of returning to winning ways. You get stuck believing that eventually your original plan will see that light of day.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
Broken demands that you act first and think second and that you TRY incessantly.
If you’re broken you know you have to work harder than others
Broken requires hard, excruciating and often painful work. Broken can’t be fixed by slight-of-hand or by finesse; the appropriate solution often cannot be found neatly or elegantly.
Successful broken strategies are not produced by sophisticated algorithms that cleverly manipulate the independent variables at play, rather they are created by hard work put in by individuals who are unafraid to get dirty.
If you’re broken you know that you’ve got to constantly keep moving
Broken requires competence in juggling. Broken solutions are rarely singular; they’re not produced by a single cause. For example, an underperforming product rarely happens because of one breakdown in the go-to-market chain. It’s not just a price, customer communications, supply or value proposition issue but is most likely a mixture of all of them to varying degrees.
Fixing broken, therefore requires a balancing touch to skillfully mix a bit of this with a bit of that — revise the value proposition to communicate uniqueness among the competition, adjust the price accordingly and modify customer communication tactics.
Broken generally requires synthesis and integration; a TWEAK mentality that applies many potential solutions simultaneously rather than rely on the traditional sequential approach of try this >> study the results >> try something else.
If you’re broken you know that you will make mistakes and you must learn how to turn them to your advantage
Broken creates insane loyalty.
The popular notion is that getting things right the first time is the ultimate goal; avoiding mistakes and errors is the way to achieve high levels of performance. In business avoiding mistakes eliminates the need for rework which in turn mitigates against margin dilution. In one’s career, when you don’t make mistakes your veneer as an unblemished professional is maintained.
Well, I’m afraid to say that mistakes are here to stay — humans and technology don’t always perform the way we expect — so we need to find a way to leverage them for success.
Being broken forces us to do just that. It prepares us for the fact that events will not always go the way we intended, and it drives us to salvage something from the screw-up that will place is in a better position than if the mistake never happened.
Being broken makes us recovery experts. It teaches us that there IS a way to turn a soured event into an amazingly successful experience. It teaches about the power of surprise and the unexpected.
If you’re broken you know you must depend on relationships with others
Broken results in a deep respect for relationships because if you don’t have a circle of trusted friends you’re disadvantaged. Broken people understand they can’t achieve anything substantial as an “only child” but rather through the collective efforts of their tribe.
Broken is real; beauty is superficial. Real delivers results; beauty is a distraction.
I’m broken, are you?
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