Have you read the book by Spencer Johnson, called The Present? Though short and a rather simple read, it contains a powerful and somewhat liberating message. He proposed that we should literally, “Learn from the Past, Live in the Present and Plan for the Future.” Though there are many ways of assessing how these might translate to our roles as entrepreneurs and business leaders, let’s briefly look at each lesson and see what we can garner.
We cannot drive looking through the rear view mirror. However we can grow from our mistakes and build on our successes. In other words, past experiences do not guarantee success but the knowledge we gain can have a huge impact.
- What significant lessons have you learned from your mistakes and those of others?
- What has worked well and been successful for you?
Live in the Present (Energy)
The current moment is where you can derive the mental fortitude to continue working hard whether it’s through the taste of success, the fun of competing or simply the exhilaration of being part of something bigger. In addition viewing things with optimism will ensure that the energy is present to be that driving force.
- Where do you add the greatest value to the business?
- What about your work positively energizes you?
Plan for the Future (Outcome)
Though we cannot guarantee what might happen in the future we can do many things to influence the outcome. Here’s where it all comes together because, learning from the past and truly living in the present, are the key ingredients to effectively planning for the future.
- What is your vision?
- What are the associated goals to start to realize this vision?
- When are the associated actions and timelines to realize these goals?