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Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's Rocket Science

"Rocket science isn't rocket science to a rocket scientist."

That's what a client told me this morning when I commented that while his business model seemed viable, I wasn't able to give much advice on the technical aspects of what he was doing, which was literally rocket science.

His statement reinforced three things for me.

  1. I don't want to be a rocket scientist - When I was back in high school working on physics, trigonometry and calculus problems, my dad would help me with my homework. At the time I wanted to be an aerospace engineer and design space ships. When I'd miss a problem, my dad would say, "Looks like your space shuttle just crashed." Fortunately for me, and probably dozens of future astronauts, I switched to business. Though I liked the idea of space, flight and all things engineer related, it wasn't my true passion. Finding my true passion is what makes business so fun and easy for me and what makes rocket science so fun and easy for a rocket scientist.

  2. I don't need to be a rocket scientist - What ever the next project is that I get involved in at work or at home, I don't need to be the expert in a new field to be successful at it. I have to be an expert in something, but there is no way for me to be an expert in everything. Instead, I need to go find the expert, the rocket scientist, who can solve my problems in their sleep while I would have to stay up many late nights trying to learn and then implement what is routine for them. I don't need to be a rocket scientist, I need to be a rocket scientist magnet where I am able to find and attract what it is I need.

  3. Leading from your strengths is not a fad - The whole idea of First Break All The Rules or any of the subsequent books and articles that came out about not trying to improve on what you aren't any good at, seemed to reach critical mass a few years ago. I wondered if it would be the latest addition to many piles of once best sellers like the One Minute Manager that have now become pass'e. I realized that this won't be a trend that will later end up on the pile of used to be hot books, but has the staying power of a principle of business. One like the Peter Principle or the Pareto Principle that become quoted and referenced in all of the next generation business fad books. Finding your rocket scientist to complement your weaknesses is a principle of business not a business fad.

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