I’m in Las Vegas for some business meetings. I love this place, mostly because everyone seems much calmer and happier than in many other places. Looking out my window I can see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower, a pyramid, a French palace, Venetian gondolas – why spend the money to travel elsewhere when all that good stuff is right here?
No, I didn’t spend all night in the casino and the previous paragraph is not the result of being over-served the free drinks. But it is a business lesson.
You see, many people accept substitutes for the real thing. Here in adult Disneyland, not much, other than the money you’re handing over, is very real. Most people understand, when walking into New York New York, that this is an idealized version of the real thing and until they add garbage, noise, air that’s less oxygenated, and cabbies screaming at you many people will get the wrong impression (I hasten to add that the generous New York residents have been replaced by guides and all of the wonderful ethnicity of the city is missing). Walking through the second floor of the Venetian may stir up the gestalt of Venice but trust me, it’s nothing like the real deal. But you’d be surprised how many folks take this version as having seen a glimpse of the real thing.
Some executives make the same mistake in business. They see something resembling a desirable outcome and accept that it’s the real thing. We don’t dig deeply enough. As a result, when confronted by the real thing our thinking can be altered, oftentimes too late. As professionals, we can’t live on Fantasy Island. It’s our responsibility to dig a little deeper – to ask more questions, to challenge information, to make sure the pleasant outcome is real (or that the unpleasant one is really that bad).
Are you living on some fantasy island or do you make an effort to see the world as it really is? Back to meetings for me – let me know what you think while I’m there.