To be great you have to be unreasonable. You have to be the one who expects more from yourself and the people around you than you are all comfortable giving. You have to get off your butt, get out of that comfort zone and make things happen that no one thought possible.
Look, reasonable people are nice, they are easy to do business with; they are comfortable to be with, but they will never ever get out of that warm and cozy comfort zone enough to push the envelope.
Reasonable people don’t break records; reasonable people don’t drive change; reasonable people don’t demand that their people ever go where no one has ever gone before. They just well, they get along to go along and keep to the status quo.
Just think what would have happened, or not happened if Galileo had been a reasonable guy? Or Columbus? Or Jobs, Or Gates, or any other persons who were driven throughout their lives to make that proverbial “Dent in the universe”? Where would be we be?
Where would we be in Kennedy had been reasonable about putting a man on the moon or Reagan about tearing down that wall? Nowhere. A more reasonable man would asked us to put a man on the moon in due time or would have asked Gorbachev if he felt the time was right for the wall to come down yet.
In the end greatness is all about being unreasonable in whatever we are doing. This particularly applies to those of us in the printed circuit board industry.
Here are some things that are unreasonable… but we have to do anyway:
It’s unreasonable to expect to be on time every time but that’s what the customer wants to do it. Just think how game changing it would be if you were the one shop in the world that never missed a date.
It’s unreasonable to have a 100% Quality. You will never be perfect if you convince yourself that perfection is unreasonable. Go for it man! Be unreasonable until you are perfect.
It’s unreasonable to go up against foreign competition. That’s right! Who said we had to kowtow to the competition? There are plenty of things we can better if we work on it or yes if we are unreasonably focused on being the best in the world.
It’s unreasonable to keep up with technology. Frankly, I don’ even think this one is that unreasonable. We are in a technology business, our customers are technology companies. There is just no excuse for us not being at the top of our game when it comes to technology.
It’s unreasonable to wildly exceed our customers’ demands. Yes and yes some more. Companies with unreasonable leaders, like Apple under Steve Jobs for example were always coming up with products that not only exceeded their customers’ expectations but were so far ahead of their customers’ expectations that the customers did not even realize they needed these product until they had them a while. And then they fell in love with them and could not imagine life without them!
It’s unreasonable to buy the best equipment possible. Once again this one is a pretty big DUH! To be the best you have to use the best equipment on the market today, end of story.
It’s unreasonable to have the best business in the industry. You will never have the best business in the industry if you don’t set goals albeit unreasonable goals to be the very best. Dream it and then do it.
It’s unreasonable to expect to make a lot of money. Yes there is nothing wrong with making money. This is why we are in business and money is the fuel of a business. Be unreasonable about the amount of money you want to make.
It’s unreasonable to have a professional sales force. You get what you accept. If you accept mediocrity that is what you can expect to get. If you expect greatness and work at it you will get greatness. Be very unreasonable about expecting the very best from all of your people especially your sales people.
It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to be on the same page when it comes to passion about the company. Whatever it takes make sure everyone is on the same page; make sure everyone is excited about the company’s goals and make sure that all of your associates are unreasonably passionate about your company.
It’s unreasonable to be your customers’ go to vendor. That’s right insists that you be the very best vendor you customers deal with. Live and walk and talk and eat and breathe being the best, Be super unreasonable about it and you will be.
Is to expect these all of these things unreasonable? You bet it is; in fact it’s unreasonable as hell. But if you want to be great at what you’re doing then you have to be well say it with me… you have to be unreasonable. It’s only common sense.