Weekend Star Article: The Three Reasons Why Your Great Idea is Likely to Fail


Ideas are common. Like oxygen, everyone has access to these free flowing elements. For some, it feels like a ‘mind-siege’- they constantly have fresh ideas surging through their system. However, how many of these thoughts get done? Truth is:  an idea assumes value only when it’s done. Until then, it’s cheap – just floating in the air.

Reality is an idea’s dream. Every thought wants to move from the unseen to the seen realm. That’s the push. Hence, an idea would keep moving until it finds someone who’s able to make it visible. That’s why you’ll see an idea that occurred to you being done by another – it moved. Doing the thought is more important than receiving it.

Two people get the same idea; one is unable to do it and the other does it successfully. Why? Why would brilliant ideas move from you? What’s stopping you? Why do you think, talk about it and don’t do it?

Existing Thought Patterns is one reason. Often, ideas occur in contradictory circumstances. They come to shake up our established way of thinking and living. Hence, it’s easy to think an investment banker is crazy when he decides to become a novelist.

Every new thought will encounter a push-back by our comfort zone. This is where the fight begins. Many novel ideas don’t survive this stage because the conflict can be fierce and most times, the comfort zone wins. Here, folks conclude it’s not worth the trouble.

The misconception is that you can execute a new idea on your current wiring (existing thought patterns). This approach has proven ineffective. To increase your chances of success when you get a fresh hit of inspiration, first ask yourself: what needs to change about my current way of thinking for this thought to flourish?

Another reason why ideas fail is Environment. Every place powers a thought. Silicon Valley powers tech innovation, Hollywood is the world’s movie Mecca, Las Vegas supports the idea of gambling and Wall Street is the engine for global finance. In these places, the atmosphere is specifically designed to ensure that a particular idea thrives.

This is very important in the creativity process. Generally, positivity enthusiasts assume that any idea can succeed anywhere. This notion works against the reality of the forces at play in each location. Sometimes it’s possible to exert a greater force in order to change the elements of a place for your idea to work. Other times, it’s wise to move to a place with ready energy for what you have in mind.

Where are you now? Does your location support your idea? If not, what are you going to do about it? Perhaps, you have the right idea in the wrong place. You can’t ski in Turkana – it doesn’t snow there.

People can hinder creativity – this is the third reason. If you ask me what I think is the main key to success, my answer would be: association. It’s my number one pick. In my view, nothing affects your journey more than the people around you.

There are dreams and ideas that you may never birth in the company of certain people – no matter how affectionate they are. There are places and experiences you may not get to enjoy because of your crew. Some ideas will naturally die around some folks.

To make ideas happen, sensitivity in this area is key. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ll ask: who are your friends? Who’s got your ears? Whose company and words help shape your perspective? If you’re not willing to change your association, you might as well forget your dream.












Boss, Hire Better People!

romero-britto-in-the-parkOn a consulting assignment, many years ago, I got into a conversation with a business owner who told me that she was careful to hire low-skilled individuals, who asked fewer questions and would not challenge her ideas.

If you were educated beyond high school, showed too much smarts or opinionated, you had no chance in her organization. I was stunned!

Then, it was hard to believe that this individual would deliberately seek out low-skilled, ‘yes’ folks for her business. I didn’t expect that kind of thinking at that level

Well, I’m way past the initial shock because I’ve seen this thought pattern displayed in various ways in the corporate world. Instances where entrepreneurs and business leaders stifle sharp minds due to the leader’s insecurities – abound.

There’s a downside though. These leaders forfeit the benefits of good feedback which in turn hinders business growth. In such organizations, innovation is rare because the atmosphere is designed to frustrate it.

A leader’s insecurities should be properly managed to avoid the alienation of brilliant minds. This is vital because in the face of current business challenges, you need all the mental ‘firepower’ you can find.

Say it: “I Was Wrong”

contemporary-artworkIn certain communities, getting older means that you’re supposed to know ‘everything’- it’s an unwritten rule, a common notion.

It’s worse if you’re an elder or a leader, folks get shocked if you show that you don’t know – you’re expected to know. It’s shameful not to know.

Sadly, the ‘know-all’ attitude doesn’t work well with people today. Folks are smarter, more sophisticated and exposed than you think – and can easily call you out on your bullshit. It’s hard to manipulate people these days; they see right through your act.

Hence, if for some reason you were wrong, made a poor judgment, messed up or missed it in anyway, your best bet would be to own up and admit you were out of line.

As a CEO, it’s now harder to lord it over your management team. In the 21st century, effective leadership entails that you get comfortable with admitting your mistakes and then seeking ways to make amends.

You don’t know it all – not even with Google at your disposal. On that note, you’ll make mistakes; we all know that you will – and that’s OK!

The Value of a Day

Abstract-Art-masterpieceTwenty-four hours is the equalizer – that’s all everyone gets.

At the risk of sounding cliché: our lives play out in the context of a day and the outcomes represent the degree to which we value our time.

Also, each day brings you closer to (or takes you further from) your goals. This is a negligible, but crucial fact and only those who pay attention enjoy its benefits.

So how’s it working for you? Are you getting closer to your dreams or are they drifting away?

I won’t bother you with time management rhetoric. However, I would like to help you assess the direction that your days would eventually take you. Is it a destination that you would ultimately enjoy?

The effect of a day is subtle. The days add up slowly and suddenly you’re in debt, overweight, rich, etc. It goes almost unnoticed and you find yourself asking: how did I get here?

Are you conscious or alive to your day’s flow? You don’t have to plan a perfect day, but you can be proactive in aligning your days with your goals.

How To Attract, Keep and Deploy Great Talent

GreatalentAs a consultant, I’ve worked with organizations that knew how to attract great talent, but unsuccessful in keeping or putting them to good use.

So, how do you keep good people? Here we go:


Great talents want to associate with organizations that won’t waste their time because the company knows why it exists. Beyond making money, the company serves a higher, meaningful purpose.


To retain brilliant guys, this is huge! You have to create a positive growth environment. Your space must promise and deliver on growth for good people to stay.

The absence of growth means that the organization is beneath the individual’s capacity and that’s not motivating.

Folks will leave a job with great pay because they know that they will not grow there. They’re looking for much more, not just money.


Great talent wants to fly – always! It’s natural. This individual is constantly seeking higher levels and pushing the limits. Otherwise, boredom sets in.

Creating an environment that’s full of worthy challenges and trusting good people to take them on is fantastic use of their energy. It means they’ve been deployed right!

If you’re not Learning, You’re not Leading

IMG_4260Curiosity killed the cat, not the leader. OK! Now, I’m just being dramatic, but you get my drift. The ability to stay curious is one of the qualities of an effective leader. It means that one is ready to learn.

I’ve discovered that good leaders learn broadly. Furthermore, they’re careful to study people because leadership is about people.

A leader’s idea draws people. When this pull occurs, it’s the visionary’s responsibility to either encourage them to stay or make them leave the vision. It all depends on how the ideologist deals with the people.

As an entrepreneur, you are also a leader and a healthy knowledge of people is required.

Show care by investing the time to study those around you. What do they value? What are their concerns?

Even within professional boundaries, value can be effectively communicated the moment we decide to learn more about others with the aim of adding value to them.

A simple start: open your eyes to the needs of those around you and find small ways to help them. Make your presence an asset, not a deficit. That’s leading!

Why Passion Could Harm The Entrepreneur ~ 2

BAR CODE - THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY by Emo  5th Sep 2009 close up shotPassion is a starter. It gives you enough motivation to get going. I would advise that you don’t ‘go-out-to-sea’ without it. Raw passion is required to birth an idea; make no mistake about it.

However, it is important to move from raw to refined passion (it means making raw passion practical and useful).

Refined passion has every element of the raw, plus the added advantage of boredom-proof, consistent action. It’s not tied to emotional fluctuation. This is the forte of professionals.

For instance, my refined passion drives me to seek out a good accountant who would help keep my finances in order. Refined passion makes me care about the legal details of what I’m doing.

My refined passion makes me want to be the best professional that I can be and not shabby in my dealings. I’m deeply passionate about my blog. That’s why I write every day, whether I’m in the mood or not.

It would help to spread out your passion, beyond the feelings of excitement. What does your raw passion mean in practical terms? How does it play out? What does it look like?