Yesterday afternoon I was getting ready to cross the I-74 bridge into Iowa and came across a traffic jam due to road construction. Oh boy I thought. How fun. Anyhow, with ample time to kill it started to come to me that getting through the traffic jam is very much like trying to get ahead in business and in life.
The traffic was all in the right lane even though the left lane was not closed ahead for over a mile. I decided to be “that guy” and go in the left lane and get as close as possible to the front of the line. My progress was quickly slowed by two “enforcers” who did their best to block both lanes of traffic so I could not pass. Eventually I did slip by them both as they really didn’t seem to want me to hit their large SUVs with my much smaller sedan. Eventually I got all the way to the barricades and squeezed between two reluctant cars at the last minute possible.
Why do I tell you this? Because there are tons of lessons here. Some of you are sitting there thinking that boy I must drive like a jerk. I can tell you that if that is your initial reaction, then you still have quite a journey ahead of you to excel in business.
First, the media has been repeatedly giving directions from the DOT that using the zipper merge technique increases traffic throughput 20-30%. This means using both lanes and not backing traffic so far to block additional on-ramps. Sometimes they even put up signs to use both lanes and idiots ignore it. So #1, we have proof of a better way.
#2. Everyone else will ignore that truth as they do not want to draw attention to themselves. You can’t just be one in the crowd. Who cares what the doubters think?
#3. The “enforcers” want to hold you and everyone back. They think they are doing good but in reality they are hurting everyone. They do not want to see you succeed. They would rather see everyone fail together. Socialism anyone? Ignore these people. Get them out of your life.
#4. It takes a leader. Guess what happened in my rear-view mirror? A line of cars. That’s right. One leader and all of a sudden we have movement. One spark and we have fire. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you it is ok to succeed in business. Just do it.
Be a leader. Do what you know is right. Stick to your guns. You will be rewarded. Yes, people will be upset with your success and try to undermine you. Who cares? You are not responsible to make them successful and some are beyond helping.
Have a kick-butt hump day!