You don’t have a right to exist

horselesscarriage

Interesting article here on iconic brands that have vanished in the past few years either due to mis-management, acquisition or other contextual factors.  They once were entrenched and moving along assuming their future’s existence and then through a series of factors they vanished into a memory of yester-year.  They highlight companies like Compaq, Saab and Cingular and also banking/lending companies that fell during the onset of the recession.

Are you a company, organization, school, church, business, leader, manager or investor that is actively thinking through it’s right to exist?  History says in all these areas that you don’t have a right to exist, factors change and if you don’t change with them there is not an assumption that you have to exist post-transition.  The world is cruel in that way, no assumptions can be made.  We are largely a product of the choices we are making today, so what choices are you making?  In the words of the wise sage, Yoda: Do or do not, there is no try.

If history sets us aside, the best we may be able to hope for a transition out of glory is by bringing some definition to the new paradigm.  The ‘horseless’ carriage could not compete with the wave that was about to come upon it’s shores, in what we now know as automobiles.  But for awhile, it existed and helped bring formation to the new paradigm by stating what it was in comparison to the old paradigm.  There were horses with carriages for hundreds of years but before we could fully move into the era of the automobile, we had the horseless carriage to help transition the way.  But unless those companies made choices to transition themselves, they were left behind with no right to exist.

Are you on the bottom looking up?  If so, don’t lose your hunger, transitions are happening in every sector, keep building on your contribution and as the big fish lose their footing, be ready to add your influence with clarity and power.  Are you on top?  You better look down, you don’t have a right to exist, there are others who will gladly supplant you if you get full of yourself and lose your contribution to your unique market.  Timing and circumstances we have little control over, but we are largely a result of the choices we are making today.  Are you building and growing on what you know and what you believe, or are you resting on your laurels in the kind of pride that precedes a fall?

A proper humility is the beginning of wisdom, I hope I’m listening to it’s gentle warning for the things I’m trying to influence.

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