Starting, managing and growing a business isn’t easy, and everyone is quick to offer you differing advice. Thousands of business books, articles, programs, courses, and workshops insist that they have the answers. Many of them are superficial, theoretical, impractical, or unclear, and they often contradict each. It all gets confusing and you don’t know where to turn.
Over the years, we’ve had the good fortune to meet, work with, and spend considerable time with many highly respected and successful business leaders. These individuals have worked in the trenches, solved the hard problems, rallied the troops, and risen to the top of their fields where they harvested record profits. Many of these leaders have become our teachers, mentors, colleagues, and friends. We’ve watched them operate, conducted business with them, and benefited from their advice.
We made it our practice to ask them to share a single business insight with us---a basic rule, practice, or belief that played an important role in their success. Some of the responses we received were basic, intuitive, and items that we already knew. But others were amazing and eye opening; they constantly made us stop and think.
The point is, as Yogi Berra said, you can observe a lot by just watching. So we wrote them down and spent time examining if and how they could work for us. Then we tried to apply them to our businesses, careers, and other aspects of our lives.