"Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time, said this: "I skate to where the puck is going, not where it's been." Great business leaders do the same thing, especially during a recession. You have to be one step ahead of your team, because that's the only way you can lead. You can not lead from behind. You've got to be out front, and that's skating to where the puck is going. You have to accept, anticipate and adapt to change. If you don't, you're just skating to where the puck is...
Gretzky understood that the game of hockey is fluid and it flows fast. So is business. To win the game, Gretzky knew he had to accept the game's flow. He couldn't control the officials, he couldn't control his opponent, and he couldn't control injuries.
Gretzky had great anticipation, and here's why: He accepted the way things were, not the way he wanted them to be! And that allowed him to see what was about to happen before everyone else did.
Then he adapted. He didn't wait for the puck to come his way. He went to where the puck was headed and created his own opportunities.
Now, business is the same way. There are a lot of things outside of your control, but you can still skate to where the puck is going. Gretzky had what we call an 'adaptable mindset'. He accepted hockey is a fast, fluid, and competitive game. He knew that wherever the puck was, wasn't as important as where it was going.
You've got to embrace the adaptable mindset, too. And that means you've got to accept, anticipate and adapt, just like Gretzky did.
- You've got to accept business as a fast, fluid, and ever changing competition.
- You've got to accept surprises, setbacks, and things outside of your control.
- You've got to anticipate. Ask yourself, what are the challenges, advantages, and opportunities you can see taking shape? Then you've got to adapt.
Forget about the past - that's where the puck was. Embrace the change, experiment, iterate, and adjust to the fast, fluid flow of this ever-changing business environment. That's how you skate to where the puck is going, accept, anticipate and adapt - and when you do that, your team is going to follow."
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