I recently listened to the IdeoU podcast with Roger Martin, author of the book “Playing to Win” and he addressed a topic that seems a no-brainer, but honestly, it’s not: Control what you can control.
Across my career in product marketing and product management I have dealt with so many situations where we were driven by what was happening ‘outside’ – the moves from our competitors, end of the quarter ‘craziness’, stock-market expectations, the latest technology hype, this ‘super important’ large customer – you name it. I bet that in 99% of cases we’d be better off following our own path – and do something remarkable as a consequence.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying we should stick our head in the sand. To the contrary. The fact is that by following someone else’s path, we’re always in follower’s mode. We stop thinking ourselves and just execute on what was asked.
Short-term this will give the feeling we’re accomplishing something, but over the long run we’ll see that we just thrown back which results in a negative spiral:
- Our products will not be as good as they could or should be, meaning they’re harder to sell, even to our existing customers.
- Top-line gets pressured, quarter ends get pressured (and with that the need to obey to the odd-requests of those prospects that would sign if we just delivered on that)
- Bottom-line gets pressured, shareholders stressed, all leading to adjusting cost in relation to top-line which means layoffs/reorgs
- Which then results into numerous development delivery challenges…
I think the point is clear.
In my new book ‘The Remarkable Effect’ I pay attention to this as well. Remarkable business software companies play by their own rules, and in doing so they become highly differentiated by creating a meaningful difference for their ideal customers.
It all starts with defining extremely clear what change you seek to make in the market. This becomes your north-star and defines and inspires everything you do. It’s what you can control, own and be remarkable for. It helps to stay on track in tough times. It stops you from getting distracted. And this makes all the difference.
So, question to you: What’s the change can create and control in your own remarkable way?
Ps. the Remarkable Effect Tribe is now opening its doors for new members. If you are a tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission, aiming to deliver the change you seek to make with more impact: This is designed for you.