April 25, 2015

Flying blind

Layers arrow
Next article April 26, 2015

Its larger context

Context Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), a leading architect and sometime collaborator with Charles and Ray Eames, is now perhaps best remembered for a single quote:




Sitting behind the controls of an aeroplane for the first time is humbling and scary. What worked to get you to this seat won’t work once you’re in it. Relying on confidence and sureness of foot won’t fly when there is no ground beneath your feet.

Out of your comfort zone, unusual environments make you slow down, ask questions and pay attention. You have a beginner’s mind; wide open.

Sometimes though, familiar situations fool us into flying blind.

Many sales people are a soft-touch as buyers, and most professional buyers make lousy sellers. The situation is familiar – sitting across the table, talking terms – but the demands are different.

Background knowledge, inside language and acronyms, taking control, the principle of partnership, keeping your head down, action orientation.

What works everywhere else, may not work here.

Pull back. Turn the other way around. Change your perspective. Make sure you know where you are.

Skippy Strategy: Before every meeting, without cynicism … What is my role? How should I be?