Focus: Lessons from the first week

The less fortunate, the up-and-coming, the wanting, the outsiders, the rabble, the strangers, the rookies, the unwanted, the unproven. They all sit before the experts as disciples to a sage. They sit and listen and question and ponder on the sayings of these teachers in hopes to get an education in what to do and how to do it. The students come with particular ideas and expectations and are met with general overviews. These overviews are relevant, they re-emphasize the structure of life, in general, but lack the secret insight into success. There lacks the one critical step that talks about what to do to win.

This is why the students are the outsiders, the unproven. Their lack of experience leaves them with the thought that there is one single step that can catapult them into the kingdom and mark them as the proven. The teachers emphasize a series of steps; the students want an universal step that applies to every situation and will always be successful. When asked a question, teachers invariably say, “Well, it depends on …”. This to the discouragement of the students.

When a direct, pointed question is met with “There is no one right answer”, it takes what was believed to be a clear and simple problem and turns it into the abstract. The inexperienced want answers, actually an answer. Not a range of answers. However, this is how most questions are answered. Students experience this, experience business life, and pass on their experience to students with the same answers, which are set in ranges.

Lessons from this week say the secrets of business and a successful career are knowing the fundamental steps, when to use them, how to communicate their results, and how to plan for the future with the information gathered from the past. In business, secrets are short lived. They are born and breed for a moment of opportunity whose lifetime is often short and particular to one use. The lessons taught this past week say, “Do not learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.”

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