It’s easy to become complacent when everything’s going well. However, the law of averages states that nothing stays static forever. Even the shiniest new things will be yesterday’s news one day and something will always be waiting in the wings to replace it. It’s an evolutionary process that’s found in nature as well as in business.
If you get too comfortable up there in your ivory tower, you can be sure there’s something just around the corner ready to knock you off your perch when you’re not looking. Innovation comes in many forms and sometimes all it takes is looking at something from a different perspective to give you a new outlook.
If you find yourself feeling a bit too comfortable in your well-founded complacency, here are a few tips to help you stay sharp and alert to potential predators who might, given the chance, rain on your parade:
- Avoid feelings of entitlement
Failure in business (as in life) often stems from the attitude that we are untouchable. You should always keep an open mind to new and better processes so that someone else doesn’t do that thinking for you.
- Be willing to learn
One of the hallmarks of a successful person is a willingness to learn and a constant need to better oneself. Learning is a lifelong process and with so many new ideas, technology, and innovations coming to the fore every day, we should all be alert to opportunities to learn and grow.
- Take your ego out of the equation
You may be an expert in your niche, but unless you are doing something that nobody else in the world is doing (unlikely), there is likely somebody, somewhere, doing it as well or better than you. Be open to new perspectives and new ways of doing things so you can truly stay on top of your game. To that end, surround yourself with people who you can trust to tell you the unvarnished truth and you will never be blindsided.
- Embrace the newcomers
Even when you’re at the top, there is a whole generation of newcomers that will be hot on your heels, given the chance. Seek out the brightest and the best and see how they are reinventing your industry. Bring in new thinkers to work alongside the tried-and-true – you may just be able to create a whole new paradigm.
- Keep your eye on the rear view mirror
It’s very common for top companies to be so focused on their own success and their vision of the future that they fail to look in the rear-view mirror to see who’s snapping at their heels. Identify your closest competitors, choose to follow them instead of dismissing them. Keep an eye on what they’re doing and you’ll always be one step ahead.
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