5Win Every Battle

Photo illustration of a football stadium seen from the view of the elite stand.

Businesspeople must produce results. To do so, they must understand the core essentials of their work. This chapter is about how to fight a hundred battles, and win every one.

57 Analyze and execute with an eye on the future

Like long grass in which a snake might be hiding, the future will always hold uncertainty. In the real world, little goes as planned.

Are there any snakes lurking in the grass you're walking through right now? If there are, what kind are they? You can't know without actually taking that walk through the grass. And if you don't make any preparations because you don't know what lies ahead, you'll just end up getting bitten. What will you do if a snake appears on the path before you? It's important to be prepared for incidents like this that are difficult to predict. You need to draw up a number of hypothetical scenarios for the way forward, and be able to respond if what you expected fails to materialize. Consider the story of US Airways Flight 1549, which struck a flock of birds minutes after takeoff from a New York airport and was forced to make a miraculous “ditch” landing in the Hudson River. Many credited the skill of the pilot, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger. Captain Sullenberger himself credited his training, which included many years of practicing hypothetical ditch scenarios.

When you consider all the hypothetical scenarios and ...

Get Business-Do now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.