Saturday, August 8, 2009

Same Old..

I've been reading an interesting book, "Snap Judgment" by David Adler. The subtitle is, When to trust your instincts, when to ignore them, and how to avoid making big mistakes with your money.

He runs through a lot of interesting examples and topics (the chapters are short and sweet - my kind of book) but one I wanted to talk about today are his findings on CEO's. Here is an excerpt from chapter 28:

CEOs, even if they bill themselves as "change agents," are themselves almost always unable to change. CEOs are inflexible in their strategic vision. whatever it may be. They manage with certain styles, largely regardless of market conditions and needs... unable to adopt new points of view.

Interesting.. in other words, Adler is saying that research shows CEOs act the same way no matter what environment they are in and their success has more to do with falling into the right match rather than being skilled at adapting to situations.

I thought about this. Look at how many companies seem to be high flyers for a long time, then all of a sudden turn cold. Or even the gurus on network televsion who assemble the prime-time schedules. They have a hot hand for a while, choosing shows that are winners in the Neilsen ratings but eventually they end up putting together a roster of losers and are unceremoniously dumped and forgotten. Does it have more to do with skill or being in the right place at the right time and having chance on your side?

I'm no CEO but when you think about it, all of us are "CEOs" in some aspect in our lives. Do we really go through live unchanging?

The other day via Facebook I got in touch with an old friend/co-worker whom I hadn't seen since the mid-80's. We traded a few messages; after the 2nd or 3rd one, her reply started out with, You are so the same old Rickie. Now what did she mean by that? My writing voice sounds the same? I am up to the same stuff? I come across as the same person she knew 20+ years ago?

I guess we do need to have consistency in our lives. I mean, we can't change so drastically from year to year that people wonder if they are talking to an imposter and demand some sort of proof that you are who you say you are after not having seen you for a while. "Uh, if that's really you, tell me what we talked about at the water cooler on January 15, 1998."

But on the other hand, I think we all like to feel that we've changed in a positive way over the years and that we aren't "same old self." I guess it depends on the inflection - "You're just like you used to be" and be interpreted in various ways depending on the inflection.

So your task for today, should you decide to accept it, is to think back to a long time ago and compare the you of then to the you of now..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where do I turn in my homework?
I found that I am the same person. LOL.