Do not be mistaken, believing that you can explain the motives of the actions of the people around you. Can you understand Alexander Spesivtsev, a Novokuznetsk maniac who killed and ate dozens of children and women? Never and under what circumstances. But it happens that the motives for the actions of absolutely normal, completely ordinary people are not explained by the same reasons. In fact, you do not understand what drives people. Your understanding is just an appearance. It seems so to you - that's all. Beyond your picture of the world you do not go out.
Do you doubt this? Then imagine: you wake up early Saturday morning from the fact that the alarm system of your car has been activated. You look out of the window and see a man furiously jumping on her hood and kicking a windshield with his boots. Exactly in five seconds you rush your legs into your pants, saving time, throw away the socks, which in the evening turned into a neat little ball and laid on a chair, jump into shoes and run outside. There you deal with this asshole from the human race with your own methods. The police come - it was caused by someone from the neighbors, watching with curiosity from behind the curtains behind the shocking story unfolding in the courtyard.
Two hours later, you and your asshole silently sit on a bench in mentovka and do not know what to say to each other. You already know what you didn't know two hours ago. This morning, a four-year-old daughter died in the intensive care unit, who three days ago was hit by a car of the same make and same color as your car. The driver fled the scene. Everything turned upside down, is not it?
Two hours ago you were sure of the correctness of your actions: everything is absolutely honest. Now you are clearly aware that all your ideas about honesty have nothing to do with reality.
Two hours ago, you rejected the actions of this man, not understanding his motives, as you reject murder and cannibalism. Now you regret it - that you did not go along a more complicated path and did not try to understand the motives of this person, because the path of learning and understanding is a waste of vital forces that will be useful in the world for their own survival: work, travel in the subway or in car traffic jams, disputes with wives and husbands, moralizing with which to feed children, buying food for a week, talking with banks about loans - oh, how much energy we need in this life to survive, is it worth spending it on other people?
Try to see an objective picture of the world.
Each has its own picture of the world. And it makes no sense to be guided by your own subjective ideas about other people in a world that is so diverse and incomprehensible: it has nightmares and the light of stars that you don’t even know if they are still burning or have already been extinguished. Anything that seems fair and right to you now, in two hours, if you have not gone beyond your picture of the world, can be dishonest and ugly. Think about it.
What does all this have to do with business? The most direct. You can give a thousand and one fair definition of business. We will add a thousand second - no less accurate. Business is a relationship. Eight or more hours out of 24 a day you live among people who come to the office, the problems of the company are for these eight hours your common problems. Can you solve them without trying to listen to your colleagues and understand their picture of the world?
You can not honestly evaluate and judge the actions of members of your team, based on their internal ideas about the motives of their actions. The only thing you can, in order to achieve efficiency, is to act on the basis of the situation. And the situation is always an equation with many unknowns. You can find unknowns only by understanding the motives of the participants in the situation.
Before being principled in any matter, you need to exhale and attempt to build an objective picture of the world. See reality as it is, not as it seems to you.
Moreover, only an objective picture will help you to build the right goals and go in the right direction.
And this is an important point. You can illustrate it with the stories of two well-known American companies, which Jim Collins tells in the book Good to Great, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A & P) and Kroger.
In the early 1950s, A & P was the largest retail company in the world. At the same time, Kroger was just a small retail chain with less than half the turnover of A & P. To tell what and how happened with these two companies further, we will have to make a little history.
Mid-twentieth century. The Second World War, which was preceded by the Great Depression, has just ended. An entire generation of thrifty people with modest needs grew up, and they were more than satisfied with the situation in which they had a lot of inexpensive food in low-key stores. But the second half of the century changed everything. A generation has grown up that is not familiar with the depression, war and post-war years. Their needs were higher: beautiful shops and an incomparably larger selection of different products: a variety of fresh pastries, fifty varieties of cookies, many types of breakfast cereals, special organic products ... It is even better if the stores have banks so that you can withdraw money for shopping, medical center and some of the entertainment - bowling, for example, why not? In short, in the second half of the twentieth century, people developed increased requirements for shops, their assortment, design, comfort and a range of services. People wanted supermarkets - big stores, where everything is gathered under one roof, with spacious parking lots, lots of cash points and other little things that make life more comfortable.
Both companies studied these new phenomena and realized the changing needs of people. A & P opened a store under a different brand to try new ideas, find out what buyers want. In this store, managers had more freedom, they experimented with new departments and gradually moved to the concept of a modern supermarket. In the same way, opening new supermarkets, studied the needs of people and Kroger. But, having received the same data, the companies reacted differently to them. The A & P leadership did not like this data (a company with a history of more than a century was guided by the principle “you cannot argue with 100 years of success”: they could not believe that the new store concept would be more successful than what had been profitable for a century) nothing fundamentally changed the concept of their retail network, tried to reduce prices, and this only led to the need to reduce the cost of maintaining stores, which, in turn, made them even less attractive to people.
Kroger, however, had a completely different attitude towards the information collected. The company management understood the main thing: buyers do not want lower prices, they want other stores. The rise of this company was swift. From 1959 to 1973, the performance of both companies was lower than the market average, Kroger was slightly ahead of A & P. But the gap gradually widened, and after 25 years, the total return on Kroger shares was 10 times higher than the average for the market, and 80 times higher than A & P.
From exactly the same data, one company made the right conclusions about the real picture of the world and what needs to be done to fit into it. The other, having the same information on hand because of its narrow-mindedness (principled due to the desire to preserve, despite the changed circumstances, the internal values of the company and the concept of its retail network, formed over a century-long success story) slowly went down.
The only way to get closer to an objective understanding of reality is to drop the blinders and always remember that your picture of the world is just your picture. Others have their own. To study the picture of the world of others is work. To do this, leave the comfort zone. But only this will bring you closer to understanding how things are in reality. And only this understanding will help to define goals correctly.