“Life isn’t fair. Get used to it!” Whatever you think about Gates, the Billionaire’s statement about life might, at first blush, sound a bit fatalistic, like you’re a hostage to Fortune.
But attaching ourselves to outcomes, and interpreting everything that happens as positive or negative is unhelpful when we simply don’t have control of all of the variables in any situation.In nature, there are no rewards or punishments – only consequences – and this is what Bill Gates was referring to.
Dino Tartaglia, is a former electronics engineer, now a businessman, mentor, coach and troubleshooter who enables coaches, consultants, creatives & service providers to build a thriving business around being brilliant at what they do. So, if life isn’t fair, just how do you can stand a better chance of life smiling on you more often? Dino explains how you can rig the game.
Ask Better Questions
In the 2011 Baseball movie, ‘Moneyball’, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the struggling Oakland Athletics (the A’s) baseball team. In a pivotal moment in the film after they lose 3 of their star players, Beane asks his scouts, “What problem are we trying to solve here?”
Beane knew that the evidence, played out on the field throughout his 2001 season, said that his scouts’ approach – ‘we have to find another star player’ – was dead wrong. Like so many of us in business, they were fixated on solving the wrong problem.
So, Beane redefined the problem they were trying to solve by asking a Better Question. Knowing that they couldn’t afford to buy in a ‘star player’, he started with, not “How do we replace the star player”, but “How do we replace the IMPACT of the star player?” Which became… “How do we build a winning team on the tiniest budget in the game?”
Which led to a revolutionary approach to building a winning baseball team. Better questions yield Better actions. What questions are you asking in your business that could be wider, deeper…better?
Harness the power of data
‘Reality Forecasting’ is something everyone in business should do. Not ‘Cashflow forecasting’, Sales forecasts or even a reality check (always useful)……but taking real data & real experience and forecasting or projecting from the insights these give you.
Your poor cashflow situation this month may make you feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t change the fact of it or that you need to do something about it before it becomes a real issue. In any situation take the data out of the drama and look at the facts in isolation.
Beane did exactly this, something none of his scouts could do. They couldn’t separate the facts from their feelings about the facts. You’ll find that this simple approach gives you a wholly different perspective, untarnished by the emotions connected to what you’re analysing. But remember it’s still only your perspective.
Don’t ‘buy your own story’
A senior Leader at Coca Cola once said to me, “You can’t read the label from inside the bottle”, a wonderful expression they’ve apparently used at Coke for many decades.
Instead of falling in line with what your industry does, or falling a little bit too much in love with your own idea, ask, “Is this The Best or Only Way?” Along with the following:
- Do you question what you do?
- Do you routinely look at why you do what you do?
- Do you follow a process or routine even though it may not be producing the outcome you hoped it would?
Get an outside perspective and consider the feedback.
So, in order to ‘rig the game’ of Business in your favour:
- Get better at asking better questions – wider, deeper, more effective questions.
- Harness the power of data – separate the facts from your feelings about the facts.
- Don’t buy your own story – question everything you do and regularly ask if there’s a better or more effective way.