THE LAST IMPRESSION!
“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field” Niels Bohr
First impression is the last impression as the cliché goes, the redundancy can no longer be considered. I would rather ponder on the opposite and conceive it as the only impression. No resting on your laurels until last is the motto of life, indeed it is, which had been explicitly practiced by many Saints & Legends in the past – worth it. Leadership is not the prerogative of few lucky ones, hence, it is the birth right of each of us, one can practice it at any level regardless of her position and so execute flawlessly. In my seminars I always plea participants to give their best, especially those who are the front-runners, who often fall in the trap of their first impression which results in over-confidence and show indignant results, which always cost them substantially. Why front-runners because there are people who are set to follow their footsteps, and a single gaffe can inflict many others. Relentless struggling and working towards giving your best each time is the attribute of a good leader, on the contrary, no particular time is the best time in life to show your best, if there is then it’s today. As Chinese say, ‘The best time to plant a tree was forty years ago. The second best time is today,’ delay not.
“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field,” said the Noble prize winner Niels Bohr. You ought to make mistakes to reach the pinnacle else you may be just another human being following the crowd. However, it is well illustrated by the story of a man who was a failure most of his life and became known through his last impression compare to those two brothers who rest on their laurels after their first success and contended on their first impression.
His name is Ray Kroc, and he was a lot older than most people and a failure to boot when he met two brothers who changed his life. For the brothers had an idea, but raw idea of their potential, how far it can go if they kept reinventing. Hence they rest on their laurels and kept doing things conventionally ever since the first success of their small restaurant. The day was not far off when they got to kill the goose and devour all the golden eggs in a day. However, they ultimately sold their idea as well as their name to Ray Kroc for few dollars respectively.
Sooner Ray Kroc became one of the richest men in America. Worth billions of dollars!
The brothers? They were the McDonald brothers, and every time you eat one of their hamburgers, remember it was the vision, courage and persistence of the person who made the McDonald’s chain a success in the world, not two guys named McDonald, after every small success he raised his bar and ponder on giving his best every time. He never thought of the first impression or of his initial successes as his last, rather he thought of his last success as his first, which is why we are living his vision today – the invulnerable McDonalds.
“Leaders don’t try to perform better than others they keep superseding their former selves and always lead by examples.” G’Wal
The Cricket debacle! How the yesterday’s Indian heroes become today’s zeroes! – What goes up / Must come down / Spinning wheel / Got to go around, goes the 1969 hit song from the group blood, Sweat & Tears was a testimony to Indian cricket team, in the Economic Times lately, which fell radically just within 5 months of winning the 2011 50-over World Cup…Phew!. The song aptly describes the plight of once victorious but now disintegrated Indian cricketers who used to boast of their victory preceding the England tour. Their listless performance has left people with only sympathy for them, if not hatred, for a few months at least. Let’s forget about Zaheer Khan, people don’t even spare the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar for his tepid performance – as I said front-runners are under incessant surveillance. The story says it all, what Japanese call it “KAIZEN” means continuous performance, and if you don’t do that, you may flounder any moment. I deeply remember what my father used to say during my freshman days, “Keep performing better, forget the rules and always give your best to be the best, practice precedes mastery. Be persistent.” A good leader always gives her best and never let previous victories clutter her mind – when you are on top there are more eyeballs set to rock and roll you, so keep doing better.
THE REAL HERO: This blog will be incomplete if I don’t mention of the maverick Steve Jobs, a real hero who has maintained his last unrivalled impression, he has performed outstandingly well in all his endeavors during his 15 years stint in Apple Inc. In his farewell speech he said, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” From the time when he was kicked out of Apple’s board once to when he resigned as its CEO, he has always been in limelight for his innovations and his unparalleled business acumen. His products from iPod to iPad have been a front-runner in the market, on top of that, his ability to encourage customers to line up outside Apple stores hours, even days before the products become available in the market is remarkable. He has maintained his Leadership aura since the beginning of Apple Inc. and today when he has resigned, apparently to serve as chairman of the board, the Co’s share price is roaring at $376.18 and mcap at $348.75bn, which apparently makes it America’s most valuable company. This is the apt time to top this era of 21st century, on the other hand amid fighting the incurable cancer he has never let the co. face the heat of it and always lived by setting examples for others. It is evidenced through sleepless nights Apple gave to Nokia, BlackBerry, HP et al, and perhaps many business lessons to companies like Dell, RIM, HTC, and the whole world in queue.
Why I persistently stressed upon continuous improvement because that makes us complete, until we use all our potential and realize our goals life is incomplete. One might not be successful in everything she does, or, as they say, you cannot be everything to everyone, but you can be something and to be that something you ought to do a lot of things, perhaps commit a lot of mistakes, which make you invincible. A Case in point is the autobiography of successful people which they hardly write at the initial state of their lives, therefore it is when they have succeeded or have done something worthwhile. If it was about the first impression then many leaders would have written their memoirs umpteen times. There had been leaders in history that we admire even today and strive hard for our younger generation to inculcate their footsteps in person or through their memoirs. Hence the only thing that add to the success is the relentless victories one after another, unlike the once and for all, simply, because your last impression is the only impression. SO KEEP WORKING SMARTER!