Being too Close to See


The first thing that happens when you look to make a change in the way you think and operate is that people will fight you. They're used to thinking of you you in a certain way, and it's difficult for them to see how things will work with the new direction.

It's especially hard now that social media has drilled "rules" that get repeated like a mantra everywhere you turn. You may be tempted to take the path of Resistance, instead of taking a moment to parse the unwritten rules.

It reminds me of the example Steve Jobs offered when asked "what do we do with the press?" His response:

I'm sure you've had this experience. Where you change. You're growing as a person. And people tend to treat you like you were 18 months ago. And it's really frustrating sometimes. When you're growing up and you're becoming more capable and you've solved, maybe you had some personality quirks you've gotten over.

Whatever that may be. And people are still treating you the same way they were treating you like a year or 18 months ago. It's very frustrating. Well, it's the same with a company.

It's the same with the press. The press is going to have a lag time. And the best thing we can do about the press is to embrace them, do the best we can to educate them about the strategy. But we need to keep our eye on the prize.

And that is turning out some great products, communicating directly with our customers the best we can. Getting the community of people that are going to make this stuff successful like yourselves in the loop, so you know everything and is marching forward, one foot in front of the other.

The press will take care of itself. It's like the stock price. The press and the stock price will take care of themselves. By the end of this year, it's going to look quite different.

I'm like an old man now. I've seen some ups and downs. And you see enough of them, you know that's going to happen. So when you get up in the morning and the press is selling Apple short, go buy some shares. That's what I would do. That's what I have done.

Social media is no different

When people perceive you in a certain way, they will continue to think of you that way.

When you're looking at growth and opportunity with a new lens, you will be edited out until you can bring what you're doing into focus and show a better way.

It's a process that happens over time, and starts very small.

I've been online for the better part of a dozen years now. I've seen some up and downs in that time, and I know how hard it is to trade better promises in an environment that promotes and broadcasts incremental sameness.

Being too close to see

It's a phenomenon we encounter in business all too often.

Organizations very successful at what was and falling on hard times look to hold onto the magic formulas that got them there. Because the transition to making better promises involves some tough decisions.

Keeping your eye on the prize, inhabiting your vision, and following through with it will be especially hard when you're too close.

Too close to the starting line to see it.

Too close to your execution plan that you're tempted to compromise just enough to lose focus and momentum.

Too close to your new thinking that you forget getting the community that will make your stuff successful in the loop.


Making the right deals is critical here.

Unless you figure out what your game looks like, you end up being a pawn in the game some else is playing.


[image via That's My Word]

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0 responses to “Being too Close to See”

  1. That’s very true though. Especially if there are some people willing to change, I can only guess how hard it must be for them to be shrugged off because of preconceptions and old biases. It’s the same with a business pursuit, if you want people to see that you’ve grown, it starts with persistence and when one person notices it, then everything will flow.

  2. I’m not advocating for behavior that leads to failure, but my experience this past year was on the opposite end of the spectrum: I believe I needed to lose focus, just so that I would know what following a broader path would look and feel like. I also think the additional time refined existing ideas, which I recognize I had all along in rougher form.
    Most of all I try to keep an attitude of “everything in its time,” which I think also goes to the struggling business: those with the ideas that saw their success need to let go, understanding that those were ideas for a different time, and learning what best fits an anticipated time based on current conditions.

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