Never Look Back!
Never Look Back?

I will not tell you what got me thinking about this. And a lot of other data will be suppressed as well …

It seems to me, as I look at my career over the last 40 years and reflect on a lifetime of biography reading, that a key to success—and maybe pretty high on the list—is an ability to more or less “never look back.” While reflection is imperative, too much reflection is paralyzing. In my case I know that I err, by a sizeable margin, on the “too little” end of the spectrum.

The plus is a strong action bias—holiest of holies per me.

The negative is upon occasion making the same mistake twice (little reflection after the 1st cock-up); and a de facto willingness to tolerate collateral damage.

It is the latter that’s bugging me at the moment—probably triggered by the agonies of a Richter 8.0 sinus infection, not amenable to the strongest of painkillers. That is, there is a lot of collateral damage along the way that at the moment feels pretty unacceptable.

If I had to do it all over again …

If I had to do it all over again, I think I’d pay more attention—maybe even a lot more—to that collateral damage. The result thereof is totally unpredictable—that is, there are so so many parallel universes.

But the “If I had …” is mostly a silly exercise. If I’d been a lot more reflective then I wouldn’t be who I am, and I wouldn’t be writing this post.

I simply conclude that it is probably true that success, which invariably requires bulldozing skills, requires the “ability” to more or less “never look back”—and the costs can run pretty damned high.


Tom Peters posted this on April 2, 2010, in Strategies.
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