There is a lot of information in the leadership literature about the power of perseverance. We honor and admire individuals who embody the famous quote by Vince Lombardi…”Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
Most of the time those words of wisdom are true. When faced with an obstacle, fear or failure, we should persist and keep moving forward until we reach our objective. However, successful individuals, teams and families know when to stop doing an activity or action that is no longer working.
If your goal is to see a sunset and you’re running east, you’ll never cross the finish line.
Is there something you should quit doing in your life? Are there unhealthy habits you want to stop? Do you have goals that are no longer meaningful to you? Are you spending too much time doing low-payoff activities? Are you trying to win today’s game with yesterday’s game plan?
Hear are two examples of famous companies that are thriving today because they decided to quit what they originally started.
Twitter—Founded in 2006
Odeo was a company started by a couple of ex-Google employees and their goal was to create a platform where individuals could find and subscribe to podcasts. However, when iTunes exploded onto the social scene, the founders of Odeo gave their employees two weeks to come up with some new ideas. After their brainstorming sessions, they agreed to quit working on their original business plan and become a micro-blogging platform where users can keep people informed using 140 characters or less. There were 200 billion tweets tweeted in 2016.
Wrigley—Founded in 1891
William Wrigley, Jr. started as a soap and baking powder salesman. He decided to include free chewing gum with each product he sold to increase sales. When he realized the free chewing gum was more popular than his products, he quit selling soap and began to manufacture his own chewing gum brands. Today the company distributes its products in 180 countries and grosses billions in revenue.
Fortunately for these companies, they knew the definition of insanity… ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.’ They changed while they had a choice.
The end of the year is a good time for all of us to quit doing what’s not working so we can free up more time to create something better in 2018. However, there is no rule book we can follow that tells us when to keep going forward, when to pivot slightly or completely change directions in our personal and professional life. We need to be alone with our thoughts without distraction. We need to be able to listen for guidance from that still small voice that many people call God.
I find it interesting that the word ‘quit’ comes from the Latin root quietus and means to be still and quiet.
I hope you are able to really listen to your inner guide before the end of the year and decide what you need to quit doing in 2018. I also wish you and your family a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin