Those who look ahead and spend at least part of their time projecting the future become leaders in their field. Everyone else is a follower.
The following quote by Wayne Gretzky is one of my favorites when it comes to my job.
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
It is a simple philosophy that made Gretzky arguably the best hockey player of all time. Everyone else followed the puck, while he got in front of it.Gretzky’s quote is also a great definition for innovation in the marketplace. Those who look ahead and spend at least part of their time projecting the future become leaders in their field. Everyone else is a follower. But it isn’t always easy. Here are three characteristics of leaders and innovators.
1. Work Hard
Being a trend setter isn’t easy — if it was, everyone would be doing it. Leading takes hard work.Consider it this way: Just doing your job takes a full work week. If you want to also become a leader, you are going to have to put in extra hours.It is the simplest, and yet the hardest factor for innovation.In his autobiography, Wayne Gretzky wrote:
“All I wanted to do in the winters was be on the ice. I’d get up in the morning, skate from 7:00 to 8:30, go to school, come home at 3:30, stay on the ice until my mom insisted I come in for dinner, eat in my skates, then go back out until 9:00. On Saturdays and Sundays we’d have huge games, but nighttime became my time. It was a sort of unwritten rule around the neighbourhood that I was to be out there myself or with my dad.”
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