What I’ve Learnt from Business Books

Learn from your failure and always try again

What separates the successful from the rest is not a clear, unobstructed path to the top but rather a series of failures from which lessons were learnt. This might take the form of a newly released feature to your product or an ambitious new way of working you’re trialling. The point is that failure is a temporary state providing you learn from it and adapt your approach for next time.

Professionalism reflects better on you than one-up-manship

Have you ever had a plumber/mechanic comment on the work of their predecessor? The cliched line often heard might be “Ooof, you’re lucky I got here when I did, Guv’nor”. This is an attempt to separate the workmanship of the old guy from the new, improved workman whose services you are about to pay through the nose for.

You suck at multi-tasking

Multi tasking is a lie. Humans cannot do more than one thing at once. The best you can hope for is doing one thing for a few seconds before switching to another thing. This is neither effective, nor efficient.

Passion and hard work are more important than talent

The value of talent is massively overstated. What will make you successful is hard work and determination. In other words “grit”. The best Marines are not the ones with the biggest muscles or the ones with the best rifle aim. The best Marines are the ones who get back up. The best entrepreneurs are not the ones with a natural flair for business, they are the ones who bite down and will not let go. Don’t be brilliant, be tenacious… ideally be both.

A good team will beat a great individual

Teams are the future of work. Any given individual’s performance is of negligible concern compared to the performance of the team as a unit. Lone wolf tactics in a modern organisation will not endear you to either your colleagues of your managers. It’s not unheard of for a team to improve its performance by 100, 200 or even 400% and to keep on improving. How are you going to improve an individual’s performance by 400% without surgically attaching some more arms? Teams can do more and, importantly, improve more than an individual ever can.



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Steven Poulton @ Aika

Steven Poulton @ Aika

Productivity expert, CTO of Coaching Culture and Founder of Aika. https://www.aikahq.com