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Burn the Boats Redux

Written by Ed Callahan on September 27, 2012

Implementers EOS

A fellow EOS Implementer, Duane Marshall, out of Detroit, wrote the following in our LinkedIn discussion group yesterday.

I was reminded this weekend of how powerful this really is - Burn the Boats.

A great quote from the Greatness Guide written by Robin Sharma,- “Powerful thought: Great achievement often happens when our backs are up against the wall. Pressure can actually enhance your performance. Your power most fully exerts itself when the heat is on. Who you are surfaces only when you place yourself in a position of discomfort and you begin to feel like you’re out on a skinny branch. Challenge serves beautifully to introduce you to be your best-and most brilliant-self. Please stop and think about that idea for a second or two. Easy times don’t make you better. They make you slower and more complacent and sleepy. Staying in the safety zone – and coasting through life – never made anyone bigger. Sure it’s very human to take the path of least resistance. And I’d agree its pretty normal to want to avoid putting stress on yourself by intensely challenging yourself to shine. But greatness never came to anyone normal.”

So think about it,- if you are the Integrator or Visionary who also sits in the sales seat and you are doing both (and neither of them well) and wondering why your sales are not growing or too slow, get a little uncomfortable and decide to burn a boat (go out and actually hire someone that can get you there). Then hoist the sail in the boat that will let you go in the direction you really want to go. It will be painful, may cost you some money, and perhaps challenge some of they ways you do business. However, in the end, as I have heard others say and I’ve said to myself… “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”

[Burning the Boats refers to Cortes' conquest of the Aztec Empire in the early 16th century where he is reputed to have burned his own fleet to insure his men defeated an enemy which outnumbered them. I wrote about Burning the Boats back in September of 2010 - see the post here. It has a 5 minute video where Andy Andrews makes the point humorously.]

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