We were recently having a conversation with a high-tech CEO who mentioned that he was teaching his son to drive. He repeated the three instructions he gave Tyler in order to be a successful driver:
- Know the rules of the road and obey them.
- Maintain a safe distance (at least two car lengths from the car in front of you.)
- Have a 360 perspective – always know what’s going on around you.
These brilliant instructions apply to success in life as well as driving. Here’s how:
- You must know the rules. Whether you are beginning work with a new organization, starting a project or interacting with a new group, there are rules of engagement, also known as culture. The sooner you learn what the rules are the more successful you will be in getting your desired results.
- Maintain a safe distance is an excellent instruction to apply in the context of scheduling and commitments. Calendars get too crowded with meetings. People attempt to pack too much into a day and it collapses around them. We live in a perpetual state of stress because we do not put a safe distance between various parts of our lives. Determine what a safe distance is for you, maintain it and you will be more successful managing your calendar and keeping your commitments.
- Have a 360o perspective is an instruction worthy of repetition. In the chapter, Return on Luck from the book Great by Choice, Jim Collins disproved the theory of luck. He showed that companies which appeared luckier were simply prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. If you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around you then you may miss out. Get luckier by maintaining a 360o perspective.
To achieve driving success and life success, remember that you must know the rules, maintain a safe distance and have a 360o perspective.