A home run is an incredible way to win the game. You risk it all on one big swing, hoping that night will be the night you single-handedly make the difference.
However most teams in the MLB this season average less than 1 home run per game. Usually, games are won by singles or doubles, accumulated over an inning – not a magical moment of individual brilliance.
So it is with our work or any pursuit we are trying to excel in. Undoubtedly, we dream of a home run each time we wake up in the morning, hoping that today will be the day the crowd finally witnesses our hidden talent.
Though instead of aiming to hit it out of the park each time, we should try to simply hit the ball first. Then, hit singles. Hit singles as consistently and reliably as anyone. Turn up, deliver what was promised, contribute, improve, share. Hit singles every time.
Eventually, you might even hit a home run. Yet until you are known as the person who is reliable, the one-off remarkable success will only be viewed as a fluke.
True success comes from mastering the basics, over and over again. This is a skill as rare as smashing it into the crowd.
Ignore it. Pretend like you’ve heard it all before and that you should be the one giving them advice, not receiving it. Nod and say, ‘yeah, I do that already but it doesn’t work’.
Even if we’ve heard it all before, listen. Think about why they’re telling it to you. What are their perceptions of you? What experiences have they had that you can learn from without making the same mistakes. Thank them. Ask them more questions. Sure, ignore the things you disagree with, privately. Everyone can learn something from someone else.
Advice is a gift and often helps us skip the most painful experiences because someone was kind enough to warn us or show us the way. Who can you give advice to today? Who do you need to listen to more?
What if we went global
What if we closed our shops
What if we worked at a round table everyday
What if we answered the phone without any recordings
What if we dropped everything for that great idea
What if we linked our salary to customer satisfaction
What if we called our customers to ask what they like
What if we donated our profits