Lost because you know the way

I recently wrote a blog about Autonomy that describes the importance of giving your team latitude in how they complete their jobs.  By granting that latitude you make it possible for them to find faster, more efficient, and more effective ways of accomplishing their work. The business world is not stagnant and requires constant adaptation at an ever-accelerating pace. A manager cannot simply assume that what worked in the past will work now (even if “the past” is just last year). Let me share a story to illustrate this concept.

A couple of times per year I take my family to a beachside town in Mexico called Puerto Pensasco. Like thousands of other Arizonans, I’ve been going there every year, year-after-year, for over a decade. Everyone in this band of loyal visitors knows the way to Puerto Penasasco, it hasn’t moved after all. Yet every year I get there about 20 minutes faster than the vast majority of my fellow travelers. No, it’s not by speeding. I get there faster because I know a faster route. Even though I “know” how to get there I still use Google maps each time I go. This has enabled me to find several new roads that have been built specifically to bypass heavily populated areas and provide a more direct route. Every year I get there a bit faster than most of the other travelers because they already “know” how to get there.

How many times in our business do we “know” the right way to get something done? Just like my fellow travelers, we create a business “route” based upon the knowledge available to us at the time we are making the trip. Once we “know” how to get something done we move on to the next project. Yet a faster route could be created by a new technology, new product, or new talent IF we take the time to recalculate. Don’t get lost because you already “know” the way.


Seth Preus is an advisor to Mivation, and the creator of both Racing Snail and Leaderboard Legends.  As a thought leader, he uses his 25 years of experience in sales, software development and business ownership to change the equation from “How can I get my team to perform?” to “How can I get my team to WANT to perform.”