The internet is inarguably the most incredible and iconic resource of the 21st century. Its value to research, economics, and communication are indisputable in the modern era. What you did not know is that using the internet has secretly groomed you to have the habits of a successful executive, readying you to overcome professional challenges of the highest order. First, we’ll talk about how you have developed the ability to find solutions and delegate tasks. Next, we’ll discuss the most important two-letter word in the English language. Finally, we’ll expand on how taking it easy makes you a better professional.
“The most successful leaders… know how to find the people and resources to make up for their shortcomings.”
1. You know what you don’t know
The most successful leaders aren’t always the best and brightest at every single job of which they’re in charge. They may not even necessarily be good at those jobs. The important thing is that they recognize this, and they know how to find the people and resources that make up for their shortcomings.
When a successful person has to accomplish something, they remove the “I” from the situation. Instead of asking, “How can I do this?” they will ask, “How can this be done?” A menu of the best options are laid out before them, and they expertly choose which one will have the best result with the fewest negative consequences.
Every time that you encounter a situation that has you Googling for answers, you’re practicing this essential skill. Aware that you haven’t memorized the perfect time-to-weight ratio for baking a turkey, knowing that repairing dry-wall is not your natural-born talent, accepting that the best route of travel through the Turkish countryside may not come off the top of your head, you turn to the world’s most powerful information network, which presents to you a plethora of options and alternatives. Instantly, you’ve sourced libraries- and companies-full of resources that have the potential to bring a swift solution to your problems.
You know how to get answers. You know how to get help. You know that you can’t do it all on your own.
But with so many possibilities, it’s easy for some people to become overwhelmed. This brings us to the next item in your executive toolbox…
“The internet can be a junkyard of things in which the only reference that you have is your own better judgment.”
2. You know how to say ‘no’
Arguably more important than being able to find ways to accomplish a task is the ability to distinguish which solutions are garbage. Warren Buffet said it best: “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Clumsily accepting every possible and hypothetical is a quick road to ruin, while winnowing off all of the non-essential and bad options will create a clear path to victory.
The good news is that you’ve been doing this for years without realizing it! When was the last time that you looked at a list of search results and intentionally clicked one of the “ad” results? How long has it been since you decided to purchase a t-shirt from a seedy, unfinished dropshipping site? Odds are, if you are a daily internet user, you have developed a sense for when something isn’t what you’re looking for, oftentimes without ever visiting the website! In some cases, an internet user must work harder to cull the wheat from the chaff. Leaders of industry have lists of trusted vendors, contractors, and best practices. The internet can be a junkyard of things in which the only reference that you have is your own better judgment.
Making a consistent habit of saying no to all the B.S. that floods the world wide web has solidified a valuable and dynamic skill within you, because saying ‘no’ to the wrong things makes it so much easier to say ‘yes’ to the right things. But once you’ve chosen your path to completion, there is the matter of managing the time you spend in implementing your solutions. Luckily, you’ve got this one in the bag, too.
“… shake the foundations of industry, then take a comfy nap…”
You work hard and take the breaks you need
You may have heard that relentless hard work, impeccably stacked scheduling, and an endless font of energy are the necessary components for success in the 21st century. While treating yourself as a slave to your ambitions is one route to the top, it’s probably a good option to say ‘no’ to that.
Love him, hate him, or fear him, John D. Rockefeller, Sr. is one of the most well-known and influential tycoons to ever live. His method of work was described as languid and easygoing. He would spend short periods making decisions that would shake the foundations of all industry, then have a comfy nap in his chair, or read the paper. The time that he took to take care of himself – to not overstress his mind and body – gave his fruitful career remarkable longevity.
People of the Information Age have fostered this quality so organically, it’s often forgotten. But you have been navigating tabs of research on the efficacy of gut bacteria in processing the modern diet while occasionally clicking over to watch a Tailor Swift music video for as long as you can remember. And naps after long bouts of study and research? Boy, do you have those down to a science by Freshman year of college.
The major problem is that we have been fooled to believe that the same techniques which allow us personal success in our independent browsing are not valid in the workplace. The truth is that it is not a lack of skill that plagues us – it is a lack of application. Don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t had the experience or the training to be successful – everything that you need for a foundation of success is already there. You are a self-made executive powerhouse. You know how to find solutions, you know how to say no, and you know how important breaks are. From here, you are capable of achieving anything.