If you lingered for more than just a few moments as this website opened, you may have noticed the tag line hidden within the copy alongside my image.
To Go Where You Have Never Gone… You, Will, Have to Do What You Have Never Done…
That sentiment was followed by…
Your course in life will be charted by your thoughts and feelings.
If you’re not headed in the right direction, expose yourself to new ideas and chart a different course!
One that leads to a better future!
That was just another way of stating something that really ought to be equally as obvious!
If you always do what you’ve always done… You will always get what you always got!
I can’t tell you how many presentations included that simple sentiment as a slide. Certainly, more than I care to remember. Hundreds, at the very least! Yet the slides have never lost their magic. Nor have they ever been any more appropriate than they are right now in the middle of a pandemic of epic proportion. A pandemic so great even the sharks on Shark Tank felt compelled to comment (Click on the image… It’s a hyperlink).
Let’s take a look at how and why.
First, and perhaps most obvious, the circumstance that defines the pandemic is unprecedented. The mere scope and size have never been experienced before. Consequently, considering a response to the social, economic, or political realities we are experiencing here at home or witnessing abroad—based upon something that might have occurred in the past—makes no sense at all.
We are seeing community-spread in unprecedented numbers. Hospitalizations taxing the underlying ability of our systems to meet the demand. Elective surgeries that have been canceled to make room for additional ICU beds. ICU beds set up in tents and parking lots. All accompanied by death and economic dislocation the likes of which we have never seen before nor are likely to see again.
Albert Einstein suggested that “No problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it.” That’s just a polite way of saying,
To Go Where You Have Never Gone… You Will Have to Do What You Have Never Done…
To go where you have never gone and do what you have never done, you will have to create a whole new awareness of your current reality. You will be forced to redefine not only where you are, but what it will take to break free of the conventional wisdom that imprisoned you and is holding you hostage.
You will have to embrace change. Something extremely difficult for all but the most adventurous among us. We will be forced to reinvent ourselves. To pivot—change direction—while attempting to find a new way forward. The simple truth is that whatever it was that got you here—that brought you this far—will not be sufficient to take you one step further! Not when things have changed so dramatically.
This is not new by any stretch of the imagination. Within the context of automotive service, it started decades ago with the widely held misbelief that superior technical skill and ability was all that was necessary to guarantee success. It won’t. It can’t. It never could.
All skill and ability will buy you is admission to the game. Nothing more. Nothing less. What you do from there is entirely up to you! It always has been.
In fact, in the midst of the pandemic, it may be less true today than it ever was! This leaves everyone struggling with the same reality—struggling to answer the same basic question. And, that is, what do I have to do to win? What do I have to do to cross the Finish Line first? Or, at the very least, ahead of you. In the end, the answer to that question hasn’t changed much. In fact, it hasn’t changed at all!
All I have to do is figure out what I can do for you that you are either unwilling or incapable of doing yourself. I have to identify the one crippling problem you can’t solve on your own… And, then, I have to come up with a simple, yet elegant way to deliver!
In the Age of COVID, it means providing those solutions in a contact-free environment. Embracing antiseptic, operating theater clean protocols. Listening to your clients and team members more carefully than ever before. Communicating more clearly. Becoming the obvious choice. The only choice.
More than anything else, it means a commitment to do different things differently. To innovate. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
It’s more than just talking about thinking outside the box. It’s about tearing the box up! Destroying it! So there is no longer a box to think out of!
Supporting the status quo no longer works if it ever did. There is no status quo to go back to. We’ve gone too far. Changed too much. If it ever existed, the Coronavirus and COVID-19 made short work of it. None of us should be longing to go back to normal—If you’re honest with yourself and everyone around you, you’ll see that normal wasn’t all that attractive anyway! How about embracing a new and better future? One that isn’t rooted in an antiquated past.
How about striving to be the best you’re capable of? Going further. Doing more. How about delivering the best products and services you and your team are capable of?
By taking away our choices, COVID has made going where we’ve never gone and doing what we’ve never done easier than it has ever been before. So easy, all we have to do is do it!
All so very true Mitch and once again, you are spot on! We all (who chose to move forward in all of this) HAD to come up with better, more innovative ways to supply, service, outperform, assist and partner with our customers, friends and family! And you are right on…I hope we never go back to the old normal but continue to recreate ourselves and our abilities and create our NEW normal. As I have coached along the way, I have also over used the expression, do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got! Maybe I first heard it way, way back from YOU but it is oh so true. Thanks for helping me to “think” today, not outside of the box but how to build a better one! Hugs and hope you’re continuing to mend.
I’m not sure who it might have been… Maybe, my Dad, who told me the surest way to crash your vehicle was to try and drive while looking in the rearview mirror! All looking backward will do for you is get you to the nearest body shop! Once you realize that as long as you are not standing still or falling behind, you are continually moving into the future. So that’s where your focus really ought to be!
We need to get together, even if only remotely, to solve the world’s problems. All we need is a good internet connection and a bottle of wine – two actually! One at each end – and we can get busy fixing the world!