Friday, May 29, 2009

Killing the Trolls of your Past

Another good find from Seth Godin. I noticed this at the end of the first semester as classmates told us about their background in our LOB class. So much of their decision-making today was guided by one of those "trolls" from their past. As I mentioned in my China Hangover post yesterday, I've been overwhelmed this week by how much of this I hear around the office. "We can't do that because....", it's almost always based on some failed attempt sometime in the past. Nobody seems to remember that today isn't yesterday and the world is not the same.

One of the most powerful sessions we had in China was a meeting with WFU MBA alum GeFei Li, who has bridged his knowledge of both Chinese and American business and culture into an incredibly successful set of companies. He talked about how many business people approach China with preconceptions or as the enemy, most of whom fail. Approaching business in China requires a new open-mindedness and a willingness to look at this as a win-win partnership. Letting the trolls dictate your goals or agenda is a recipe for disaster. It's not easy to let the pains from old wounds impact your judgment, but it's critical to look forward and find a way to view the world from today's viewpoint, with a vision towards the future. The trolls are in the past, and the past can't be changed.
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