Here’s something I’ve noticed about people who read a lot of business books that promise big ideas about the future of our industries:
Those people tend to put a lot of faith in systems. On a Sunday, they’ll finish a book about the latest trend coming out of Silicon Valley, and on Monday, it’ll be the future of everything. Those books often promise the secrets to unlock great work. They’ll say: “They do it this way at Company X, so we need to switch everything to do it that way, too! This is the future!”
But to me, they’re not gospel.
I like business books, don’t get me wrong! And I’m a fan of great routines that can help teams work faster/better/smarter, and of big ideas that can crystalize a team’s mission.
But systems or big ideas aren’t everything.
I believe that great people, working together with the right tools and a clear mission, are unstoppable. Ask me about my team sometime — I’ll gush about them. I think they have the potential to do great work that can have impact on millions of lives. (In fact, they’re doing that already!) I believe in them, and I believe they are smart, hard-working, and flexible enough to take on ambitious work.
If I had to start with only one thing — the right systems, the right ideas, or the right people — I’d always choose people. A good system or idea is only as good as the people working to make it happen.
Sometimes, you want a random, generic image for a post like this — and hey, this one by Alex Wong from Unsplash worked!