I was at a customer appreciation event in Vail for a large telecommunications company in Beaver Creek. Jonny Moseley, 1998 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle skiing was part of the event. Jonny changed freestyle forever by introducing the aerial Iron Cross and landing it for the first time at the Olympics. He and I sat and talked on the shuttle bus together on the way to the golf course the first day, and played together the second day. He had some great insights about skiing that apply to business and life in general.
One of his best business tips, masquerading as a skiing tip:
"Skiing is all about many small recoveries, finding a way to rein it back in each time you begin to lose it."
I asked him how that might make the difference. He explained that the difference between silver and gold in freestyle can be that the silver medalist had a very precise plan that was executed perfectly, while the gold medalist was skiing on the edge and making small recoveries all the way down the slope. Pushing the envelope can be the winner's advantage. So goes business. So goes life. When we focus on skiing with no risk, we finish down the list, in obscurity.
When we focus on a perfect plan we miss opportunities that could take us to the next level. When we focus on skiing on the edge and making good recoveries each time we cross the threshold, we're in contention to win. We need to take measured risks, but we also need to have the tools to make it through the rough patches.
Speed of Execution is the #1 indicator of success in business. What have you been thinking about for days or weeks that you should already be doing? And staying moving while adapting to new information is just as important as getting started. Making recoveries and adjustments don't happen when you're stopped. If you're moving at a speed that allows you to carry out a perfect plan perfectly, you're missing all the opportunities that will lead to building an exceptional business.
Are you playing it safe so you never have to recover? Or are you creating a business with an edge?
And just as importantly, do you have the tools to recover as you hit the rough times?
Get moving. Stay moving. Figure it out as you go.