Don’t Let What You Can’t Do Define What You Can Do

People who have abandoned themselves to mediocrity, or merely being average, do this all the time. What most people get good at is explaining why something can’t be done. They use their arguments about why they think something can’t be done to define what they think can be done. Unacceptable. (You’ve probably never been in a meeting where this has been the M.O. – right?)

True leaders think about this as follows:

  • There are always ways of figuring out what has to be done, if the obvious tactic doesn’t work.
  • You just have to be determined and smart enough to figure out what that alternative tactic is. As we old engineers used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin the cat.”
  • If ingenuity or determination are lacking, then you are doomed to succeed or fail, in no more than an ordinary way – that is, merely by chance.
  • You have to measure capabilities by figuring out how to do something that others have considered “impossible.”
  • Give us the difficult. What’s easy brings no honor, no joy, no glory.
  • Never confuse an activity with an accomplishment.
  • Never let what someone assumes we can’t do define our future.

In other words, don’t let what you can’t do define what you can do.

-Lee Thayer