In Good to Great (Amazon), one of the things they found to differentiate great companies is that they confront the brutal facts of reality. It’s a question I’m asking myself more often since reading the book – am I being brutally honest with myself? Is this how reality actually is? Am I ignoring anything that will come back to bite me later? As a result, I’m trying to address the things head on that I find myself being less than honest about.
I think of it like (don’t ask how I came up with this analogy), you have a barn which you use to store turnips. You’re burn is burning down. Are you still out there picking turnips?
It’s sometimes easy to be incredibly productive and yet – not address the truly important thing, the burning barn. Which is stupid, because in the end, it doesn’t matter how many turnips you pick if you have nowhere to store them.
If you have a burning barn, stop picking turnips and start throwing some water on it. It may be harder, and less satisfying, and more scary. But letting it continue will ultimately be so much worse.