I’ve noticed that many of the business folk I meet fall broadly into two distinct categories: those who are trying to do something and those who are trying to be something. Truth be told, I don’t have much time for the latter. The former, on the other hand – those who are trying to do something – don’t need to try to be anything… they just are. And I love them.
There’s something sparkly about people who are trying to do something – instigating change – like entrepreneurs who are the masters of ‘creative destruction’… a term Joseph Schumpeter popularised when he outlined his vision of capitalism, around innovative entry by entrepreneurs as the force that sustains long-term economic growth, even as it destroys the value of established monopoly companies.
The difference between those trying to do something and those trying to be something is more stark than ever in our current social media frenzy. If you’re trying to do something, media isn’t the point, technology isn’t the point – the objectives are what’s important… and the ability to question… why are we spending time and money on this? Is it in line with what we’re trying to do? Is it what our customers want? Are they getting value from it?
Meanwhile those who are trying to be something are focused on being… cool. And everyone knows there’s nothing less cool than trying to be cool
If you’ve ever been in a meeting and had the same feeling in your guts as when you’ve watched your dad dancing, it’s time to refocus on what you want to DO. All else will follow.
Those who are trying to be something can keep their shuffling boardroom butlers, loud bar talk and tie-tweaking long-winded background intros… but we’ll take the tea and biscuits. Just don’t expect us not to roll our eyes.