Having found new options among the ten types of opportunities that might be facing us, our next step is to choose between them.
Peter Drucker had very a clear view about the best way to do this. He was an author and consultant whose thinking shaped the modern corporation and he said:
“Doing the right things is more important than doing things right.”
In other words, when choosing a way forward it is better to choose a difficult path towards the outcomes you want than an easy path towards the wrong results — it is better to move slowly in the right direction than quickly in the wrong one.
It is better to do the right things badly than to do the wrong things well.
Reading this now it probably seem obvious.
But in our lives, how many times do we go along with what seems easy rather than standing up for what is important? How many times do we go with the flow instead of making a deliberate choice to do what really matters to us?
Sailing brings a useful metaphor.
If the winds around you are blowing in the direction you want to travel then your decision becomes easy: you sail downwind. But when the wind is blowing against you, you don’t just give up and you don’t just follow the wind. Instead, you tack and jibe across that wind. And though you seem to be pointing in the wrong direction, in reality you are still moving towards your chosen destination.
Choosing the best way forward is not only about knowing how to find more opportunities — it’s also about having the courage and clarity to choose the way forward that is best for you, even if that goes against the way the wind is blowing today. This is another step towards becoming antifragile.
In your work, and in your life, are you going where the wind blows or are you deliberately moving towards a destination that matters to you?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)