Today we take our business cue from the noted executive Michael Gerard Tyson.
You might know him as Mike or as “The Baddest Man On The Planet.” Hopefully you were well aware of him before the “Hangover” roles (which didn’t make a lot of sense unless you were aware of him!). One of Mike’s quotes is something every businessperson should keep in the back of their mind:
Everyone has a strategy until I punch them in the face
There are variations of that quote out there but you get the gist. It’s about the best summary of strategic planning I know. While long-range planning is a good idea, those plans need to be etched in sand and not in cement. Being agile and working with the flow is critical in an environment where it seems as if most of what we thought we knew becomes untrue. Like a boxer, a business’ ability to take the punches, move away from the trouble, protect itself and recover is the manta. Stick and move, indeed.
There’s something to be said for perseverance. On the other hand, when a plan of attack isn’t working and you’re catching way too many punches, one of three things is going to happen:
- You’re going to get knocked out
- Someone is going to stop the fight
- You’re going to change your strategy
Doing the third thing early on while maintaining the same goal (knock out the competition and win) is really the only route (see companies under buggy whips, internet 1.0, and airlines) to success. Many of us ignore the surprising things that happen, writing them off to “lucky punches” and only focus on what we expect. Big mistake.
Getting hit in the face can knock you out or it can wake you up. Your choice.