Something (most) founders get, but others on the team less so.
When something goes wrong or fails to happen, and you have a (even very good) reason why, your business doesn’t care. Nor does your body. And neither does the universe.
It’s the thing about owning something completely. There may be valid reasons why something doesn’t work out, but your business doesn’t actually care about the reason why. It just suffers the impact.
And what’s true for business is true at a micro level and a universal one.
On Saturday (apologies for too much detail moment!), I woke up quite groggy and in a rush. I wanted to skip the floss. I knew I didn’t have the time (I’m not the world’s quickest flosser at best).
Then it occurred to me that my body actually wouldn’t give a damn about how little time I had. Whatever the reason, my teeth would go unflossed, and my dental hygiene would suffer.
Same whether I’d just decided that I don’t feel like it, or if the dog had eaten my floss.
Which would be some achievement as dogs don’t like floss.
Oh, and because I don’t have a dog.
But then I thought about our world and the environmental havoc we’re wreaking on it. We could talk about a need to continue Oil and Gas. We could talk about jobs. We could talk about our need for overgrown highlighter pens in our shop windows to advertise our wares.
We could even talk about why we need floss. Or at least nylon floss, which is most floss.
Talk ’til we’re blue in the face. But the world doesn’t care. Climate warming will continue whatever the reason. Biodiversity will decline whatever the reason.
And the universe actually won’t care what happens to this miniscule blue planet. It will do what the universe does.
The same is true of business. If we don’t deliver something we’ve promised to, it doesn’t matter if it’s because we just couldn’t be bothered, or if we’re going through a tough time. Your boss / client may care (or feign caring) once.
But not over again.
And your business will suffer. Because your business doesn’t care why.
Founders get this, because they are the business. The best team members also get it, because they get their responsibility and simply know that you should do what you say you’re going to do.
This is not about humans not caring – we all care, and should care deeply.
But the world we operate in won’t care…
If we want it to change – whether teeth, or business, or environment – we have to realise that this only gets done if we own what we do. Own our responsibility.
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