Break your disinterest in success


You are probably encountering more competition in business than years ago, such that your profits are dwindling to the point of threatening the survival of your company. You may even find yourself in a situation where you are unable to secure a job and opportunities are far between. In terms of leadership style; you had the power to issue a command and people would tremble and comply but that seems to have changed dramatically. Do not cry when you notice that, despite that you were always a top star in class, that does not seem to be appreciated at your workplace.

There is a key element we have to comprehend in life. It is easy to get stuck in philosophies and initiatives and activities that made a difference in the past. They become gratifying and are often referred to as the best model of doing business. The art of repeating today the same strategic and tactical moves that worked successfully in the past carry in itself the danger of denial reinforcement. This is a phenomenon which Andrew Grove calls “inertia of success” in the book Only the Paranoid Survive.

Grove reminds us: “When the environment changes in such a way as to render the old skills and strengths less relevant, we almost instinctively cling to our past. We refuse to acknowledge changes around us, almost like a child who doesn’t like what he’s seeing so he closes his eyes and counts to 100 and figures that what bothered him will go away. We, too, close our eyes and are willing to work harder, to dedicate ourselves to traditional tasks or skills, in the hope that they and hard work will get us there by the count of 100. The phrase you are likely to hear at such times is “just give us a bit of time’”.


When you are stuck in the inertia of success, cherishing in the glory of the past, you lose focus on present challenges and the anticipated changes that the future brings. In the end, you are stuck in the process of administering solutions of yesterday to the problems of today.

Many organisations have closed shop as a result of the inertia of success. What used to be highly admired and glorified ended up being overtaken by new and fast-thinking organisations. As a result of inability to change the model of doing businesses, the top politicians of yesterday have lost their luster and are now on the sidelines, the top executives of yesterday are easily forgotten and all success registered can hardly be remembered.

The day you are living in has transformed from yesterday. Market dynamics have changed. Work environments have changed. Behaviours have changed. Leadership models have changed. Your success depends on how you radically shift to the new model of doing business, acquiring skills that are compatible with modern trends, perfectifying soft skills that have to complement your technical competencies.


In this age, you do not need a five-year strategic plan. Some elements you are considering in such a long plan will be obsolete in a year or two. What you need are business commandos that are ready to go on the market battlefront and win customers to your business. Your business might be leadership or teaching. In fact, everything you do in life is business. Even the relationships you have with colleagues are business. There is always a give-and-take aspect. There is no way people will cling to you if they are not benefitting. Life has no time to offer you a free lunch.

Your personal and/or corporate success depends on your ability to break the inertia of success. Of course, there is always fear when the environment changes. Grove teaches us: “The fear of a new environment sneaking up on us should keep us on the toes. Our sense of urgency should be aided by our judgement, instincts and observations that have been honed by decades spent in the business world….we know what we should be doing but we don’t trust our instincts or don’t act on them early enough to take advantage of the benign business model. We must discipline ourselves to overcome our tendency to do too little too late.”

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