Many people get to a point in their lives and leadership journey where they get stuck. They may be doing very well but there is no clear view of what tomorrow looks like and many have find themselves in a deceptive success loop. They are successful but there is no significant leap into the foreseeable future and so they just continue in the loop with a que sera sera mindset (Latin: what will be will be). In the course of interaction with leaders from across the globe, this seemed to be a common problem at certain levels of leadership growth.
Years ago, I had imbibed on a personal level the principle of kaizen (a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, and personal development).
Imbibing kaizen as a personal philosophy is imperative for anyone seeking to break out of a deceptive success loop into greater success and significance re-imagining themselves.
The rate of accumulation of knowledge and converting the same into solutions must be exponentially greater than the rate of the diminishing value of old knowledge. New weapons of war are being made every day and new tactics developed. Yesterday’s breakthrough is the benchmark for today's competition.
This is the bane of pioneers and people who come into the market with breakthrough products. They become the benchmark and everyone in their industry studies them. They are the ones to beat. The leader must ensure that new breakthroughs in thinking emerge faster than the competition can master copying the old, hence the need for continuous improvement.
What gives your great idea value is its relevance and how well it resonates and connects with people and the environment you operate in. So, continuously evaluate your current models for relevance for every great idea has a lifespan.
Rolex was established in 1905 and they are still at the top of the world’s luxury watch brands today. Rolls Royce was started in 1904 and still stands at the top of the world’s most luxurious vehicles. Japanese Hotel Hoshi Ryokan has been in existence since 718 AD and is still in business today. So is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot spring hotel in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan founded in 705 AD. Because success is determined by value and not presence, it shows that these businesses are still creating value years after they were born.
Many failed because they believed the lie that knowledge was power. This lie has been passed down generations and creates a sense of entitlement among those with knowledge.
It is not the information you have that matters but converting it into practical day-to-day solutions meeting the needs of people. In essence, it is the application of information rather than the accumulation that propels you forward.
Substance comes from the doing and not from the talking. Embracing the rule of kaizen, allows you to apply new stuff to continuously improve yourself, or else you implode. Kaizen is the greatest insurance against personal implosion.