Knowledge Is A Dime A Dozen.
Execution Is Priceless.
When I was a little kid I remember imagining that someday we will have the ability to have all the available knowledge in the world digitalized into our vision. Yeah that’s right, all the information in the world not only at your fingertips but in your vision. Kinda like the terminator movies that they used to make. Arnold, "I'll be back!" It sounds crazy but the reality is that we aren't that far away from it. And the reality is that our cell phones are essentially exactly that NOW. I mean ask yourself this, how valuable was it in 1970 to know a fact over someone else? It meant everything before the Internet age. It meant that you were smarter and that you were more capable. And those people dominated the world. But I can tell you that the world is changing and so is the equation for success. Put down your text book and start developing a routine for success... Execution.
But first, let me take a brief moment to discuss just how absolutely amazing our recent technological developments really are. We literally have access to the majority of our world’s knowledge in seconds, via our cell phones. It’s truly remarkable. But as wonderful as that sounds, everything has a downside. This is actually a bad thing for the naturally gifted people. The playing field has now been neutralized. Knowledge has become almost irrelevant. How valuable is it that you can answer a question 7 seconds faster than I can discover it on my cell phone on Youtube? With the exception of specific specialty careers such as doctors and lawyers, how valuable is saving a couple seconds of time? Knowledge has become almost worthless. Execution has become everything.
I don't have to be any smarter than you to achieve more success than you in the world today. I can learn anything that I need to know within 30 seconds, provided my phone’s Wi-Fi is working properly.. (I just used 1 GB of data in 10 min while downloading music Verizon? Really?) Ugh. How amazing is technology? This is only going to continue to improve which means sooner than later, even the knowledge of a doctor will become an instructional process similar to that dresser you just bought from IKEA. We will all be watching Youtube clips for open heart surgery. And as we continue to lose manual labor job, the significance of execution increases. I guess this is a silver lining for all the blue collar folks.
Many years ago I had an internship position at a corporate employer while attending college full time. It was an amazing experience that I probably learned more from than I did in actual college classes. It was a head first dive into a thriving Corporate America company at a youthful age. I spent time in sales, service, management, production and everything else that they had to offer. I also had the additional benefit of being around great people who took an interest in me. I still don’t understand why, but I will be forever grateful. Anyway, I happen to share this position with one other individual, a female from Cornell University. I was just a young, dumb, freshman jock that came from a small local high school. She was a senior at an Ivy League university, finishing up her degree. I think it’s safe to say that she had an intelligence advantage over me.
Well as it turned out, she wasn’t all that great.. like at all. Meanwhile I was learning new things and executing on them! And making her look bad at the same time. I obviously knew that she was much smarter than me and since I knew that going in I didn’t try to beat her at her own game. I simplified things and resorted to just working harder. I worked longer and it took me more time to achieve the same tasks at first. Eventually though enough time pasted I was up to speed, out pacing her at her own game. This was the first time in my life that I conceited the intelligence factor to someone. You could say this was when I learned how to win by simply out working the competition. She was smarter, but I was executing and she wasn’t.
A similar concept can be seen from most sales people. The perfect sales person is talented while maintaining a great work ethic. But if you aren’t great at both and you find yourself in a sales position, you can take one of two approaches. You can either be highly effective at a few amounts of appointments (talented), or you can play the numbers game (the rest of us). For the rest of us, just visit more potential customers to increase your total visits and the likelihood that you run into someone that wants your product/service and doesn’t require a great sales rep to convince them of it. Increase your numbers and it increases your chances, simple. Beat the super talented sales person by over executing and out working them, it’s your only chance if you aren’t great at the other part yet. And before you know it; your work ethic will develop you into being great at both. And that’s right where you want to be.
Execution is everything. Don’t just talk about it, be about it. (And any other cliché saying that I can tag to the end of this.) But seriously, in the world we live in today, anyone and everyone has a great idea. The difference from those who make it and those who don’t is the execution piece. Don’t be afraid to fail, none of us are naturally gifted enough to make it on the first try. Get up and go.