Real life in business rarely resembles a Hollywood movie. Specifically, we don’t just get noticed or thanked for working hard; bad situations don’t neatly resolve themselves; and benevolent, cashed up board members or customers looking to bankroll your kooky idea are scant.
At the risk of over-generalising, I think the 80/20 rule applies to most aspects of life. If 20 percent of people are management types, 80% are not. I know I’d rather be in the 20%, for 80% of the time. Get my drift? If you add SWOT analysis to your overall approach, the key is to realise that at least 20% of the time you must be on your toes ready for opportunities and threats. If you are, then statistics say you should be sailing up to 80% of the time. Still with me? (This is not a test, just a philosophy.)
Here’s a real life example. Right on deadline we were let down by a supplier, risking the project. We could a) tantrum Oscar-style, b) replace them, or c) refer to the client and let time tick down. We did b, saved the day slightly over budget and explained later. No prizes for guessing the client ultimately didn’t care (well, after their tantrum at the supplier). They got their outcome, we wore the panic and life goes on. No parade or thank you speech (e.g. you had me at “hello, I fixed your problem”) – just good results; credits roll. In business you determine your own reward, it’s not applause.
Reference movies worth watching, albeit NOT useful for real life – Trading Places, The Secret of My Success, Broadcast News, Boiler Room, The Devil Wears Prada, Up in the Air, The Pursuit of Happyness…you get the picture (bad pun).