Re-invent the wheel

May 29th, 2011

Leadership is not about re-inventing the wheel. It is seriously about thinking out of the box, and applying that thought to circumstances that exist. When Roosevelt suggested methods to bring an end to the Great Depression, he wasn’t exactly repeating history. He was ready to take some chances to create history.

The wheel after all has already been invented. Yes you can choose to apply the wheel and make carts or cars, and you can also choose to name your detergent after it. But there would be little credit in your favour, if you chose to create something similar in function, and call it differently.

I guess I learnt this in my study of venture capitalists, who are averse to investing in ideas that have already been implemented. In simple terms, while negotiating across the table, you can continue talking only as long as the topic is of interest to the other person. Interest carries from conversation to business, and goes a long way into leadership. The person or people across would have no interest, if they were to to know what your next moves are. It’s like having someone disclosing the mystery in a suspense novel. There’s no thrill left in reading it anymore.

In the world of competition, where politics is like playing chess, there can be no perfect way to plan strategy. History does not show patterns, other than the part that whenever the world has come to a standstill, not knowing where to go, enlightened and awakened thought leaders have risen, to show light to society. And perhaps that’s the only pattern that history has followed. Noone has ever had success from re-inventing the wheel.

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