Something that I’ve always found to be very interesting, is the fact that people don’t look at the future and what their actions can create or destroy. You should play the long game to the best of your abilities, unless you are a one-trick pony. Are you a one-trick pony? I sure hope not!
A lot of people are chasing the next quick buck to make it through another month and that may be justified for a short period of time in your life when you are learning the ropes of business. You need to move on from this practice as quick as you can because its not a sustainable strategy to build a successful future.
Play your life like a game of chess; you always have to anticipate the next few moves and plan to a certain extent with all the variable that may come your way. I guarantee that if you only look at how you can win the next chess piece, you will lose the game in no time and you will never be any wiser. In life and in business it is crucial to anticipate what can or what will happen next. Connect the dots and be mindful of the moving parts in your universe so that you can position yourself for the long game.
Don’t burn bridges! If you are in a situation where you don’t have use for someone or don’t want to interact with them, then just set them aside and keep them in your address book for future reference. You never know who might come in handy at some point in the future.
Another important element of good business for example is how you handle conflict. If someone does you wrong, you could fight with them and then burn the bridge, you won’t have anything to go back to if the opportunity arises. However, if someone does you wrong and you don’t go at them with all you’ve got, they may remember you in the future and if you turn to them they will in all likelihood think that they owe you one and may go out of their way to satisfy your request when the time comes. That’s a big difference in perspective and I’d rather be the guy who is owed lots of favours than the guy who took everybody to court and now has more odds stacked against him. You should think about that the next time you have to decide how to handle a conflict… I recommend a diplomatic approach to anyone who asks. I’m not soft, on the contrary, I’m very firm when it comes to doing what’s right, but you can always handle things in different ways and maximise your personal gain. Nothing good ever comes from conflict.
Another thing that I’ve never understood and always despised, is micro management. If you hover and control every small detail you stand to lose sight of the big picture and you jeopardise your employee’s (or partner’s) ability to grow and improve. Sure we all make mistakes but those are for the most part valuable lessons that are essential for the future and if you try to prevent them from happening you are wasting your time. Correcting a mistake of someone who is trained in your business is easier than to replace disgruntled employees every six months. Again, you have to look at the long term effect.
Playing the long game also means to get up after you fall – every single time. If you dwell on your defeats and don’t put them in perspective you will never achieve the things you dream of. There is a lot of living proof all around you, like every single athlete competing in the Paralympics – what great effort and will they have devoted to not let life keep them down.
Strategy and diplomacy are key components in achieving long term success. If you only look at the pavement in front of you, all you will find is pennies – that’s a simple but powerful truth.
Kindness goes a long way because you will be known for it among your peers and kindness attracts trust and sympathy. You need trust and sympathy if you want to succeed because chances are, there are multiple people out there who can do what you do but if the client likes you more than the next guy, you will prevail.
Another thing that is interesting and important is how people perceive pricey items. Of course a well crafted leather suitcase will cost more than a plastic document holder but how many of these will you use, lose and throw away in your years? I think that the cheap things in life always end up being expensive.
There are many examples and you should think about your life and analyse the choices you’ve made and what the outcome was. I hope you will find that my ideas are right and that you can make changes to better capitalise on the cards that you were dealt. We all have great potential to achieve fabulous things in our lives if we can look beyond our own nose and give our counterparts good reason to put their trust in us… Build bridges and never burn them down (but the exception confirms the rule).