Your success or failure in a sailboat race depends on your ability in two major areas: internal factors—the way you handle the boat. And external factors—the tactics you use in handling your boat in relation to the other race participants, wind, waves, the weather and other external influences.
If you handle your boat perfectly during practice, but fail on race day, your tactics may not be up to par. On the other hand, if you know what to do to win, but just can’t seem to get the boat to do what you want, your basic boat handling skills may not be up to par. You need a good dose of both skills to win races.
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Physician and writer (1809-1894)
These same concepts apply to business: You can have all the processes in place, with all the best organizational charts in the world, but if you can’t react to the needs of your clients, or to the effects of the marketplace, you won’t succeed in business. To achieve competitive success, you need both thought and action, both plan and performance. Brains and brawn.
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