Written By Rienzo Colpo


The most critical task facing anyone in business; from start-up to multi-national – is to maintain and ensure relevance.  Relevance in role, relevance in the marketplace and of course, in their industry.

Of course, the problem with this is that people are creatures of habit.  So, with inspired authors such as Malcom Gladwell, we practice a philosophy of bedding down habit into 10,000 hours of effort.  In principle this certainly develops mastery, but in a very narrow field.  In business, the marketplace and when leading people circumstances are far more fluid.  Inevitably the 10,000 hours rule often doesn’t yield the impact that we are looking for – so we then work on applying Darwin to our problem – “survival of the fittest”.  Perseverance and strong tactical decisions that can turn into real gambles with resources and sustainability.

The thing is that Gladwell spoke of applying the 10,000 hours to become a phenomenon in a specific field (narrow focus), and Darwin said “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent.  But the ones most responsive to change”.  Adaptability.  The strong enough awareness of your environment, and flexibility to let go of who you were / what you did to evolve into who you are required to be in order to succeed.

Arguably the most important skill any businessperson and leader can develop is that of self-awareness of impact.  This gives us a clue as to how successful and sustainable we are being for our businesses and people.

Add to this, a willingness to embrace the discomfort of letting go of “doing things the way I know best”, allows for the magical recipe for evolution that Darwin spoke of.

What possibilities would unfold if you explored this approach, instead of reinforcing practiced, old, and even archaic ways of working?

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