February 6, 2020

Get Ready for The Next Bright Idea

“So, now that we’ve moved into our new home …
It was worth me buying a bike for myself.
It just didn’t make sense with our apartment.”

Makes sense.

“But it’s been so long, that I’m struggling to keep my balance.”

Images of crumpled wheels and lacerated knees.

“So, Charlie’s trying to teach me how.
But I draw the line at riding beside the main road with my feet on the handlebars!”

Charlie’s 4 years old.
She’s his Mum.

After saying a WhatsApp ‘“farewell”, I turn my attention to one of Charlie’s cousins.
120 miles away in Cambridgeshire.

“Granddad, Mattie wants you to ask him a difficult maths question.”

So, I throw “13 times 13” at him for starters.
Catch that, smarty-pants!

He starts laughing.

“No, Silly Granddad” says he, shaking his head, and almost falling over with the effort.
(’Silly Granddad’ being my official family name. Which says everything.)

”Not 169 again.
Something difficult!”

Well, 13 times 13 was pretty difficult when I was his age.

Then Wendy reminded me of the first time that we babysat this young fellow, without his sister.

it was a Summer’s day in Regents Park.
There were still tears on his cheeks, after he awoke in his pushchair… ran around…
… and discovered that his parents were nowhere in sight.

He sat down determinedly in a bare, dusty patch in the well-trodden grass, with a tiny twig in his hand
I instinctively sat down beside him.

His eyes slowly turned to meet mine.
And he handed me the twig.

A smiley face should do it.
And I started to scratch my most happy version.

But, then he kicked his little legs, and squeaked angrily…

Oh! Right!
I sensed that this was one of those Rites-of-Passage moments for a Granddad.

When I had finished, I smiled at him triumphantly.
At which he grabbed my hand with his chubby fingers, and pushed it back to the dust.

“Heptagon” he demanded.


He was just 2 years old.

No matter how good you think you are…
No matter how superior your skills…
No matter how lofty your intellect…

There’s a little sprog romping their way through school right this very minute…
Who’s going to be better.

And they’ll be in your space in No Time Flat.

Which raises the question:
”How Do You Stay Ahead?
How Do You Remain ‘Better Than’?”

To which I’ll respond with just two possibilities today.

Remember that being ‘Better Than’ will see you only so far in your business life.
And it’s harder to maintain pole position for long.

Because being ‘Better Than’ doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m ‘Good’.
Does it?
It simply means that I might be ‘Better Than’ those who are ‘Not Much Good’ at something.

(Business Leadership, for example.
A capacity usually cobbled together and bumbled through by most of us.)

Much better to direct your energies towards being ‘Different To’.
Being Outstandingly Different is far more difficult to copy and improve upon.

Be assured that Wisdom trumps smartness every time.
And Wisdom only comes to us on the other side of pain.

So, if you’re forever avoiding painful decisions in business…
If you’re always living in the familiar and comfortable…
If you’re convinced that you’re regularly – nay constantly – right in your decisions…

If what you’re about to attempt doesn’t scare you a little…
If you’d rather not change the way you think and behave (constantly looking for others to do that, ‘cos – of course – they’re the problem, aren’t they?)…

Then you’d better be really, really, really smart.
Or have a very deep purse indeed.

So, here’s the sum of today’s short list.

Strive for Difference.
Pay the price for Wisdom.

Then you can happily embrace the next wave of “Brilliant!” that is certainly coming your way.