If you believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can not, then you are right, too.
On last Monday in Singapore, my colleague and I were fortunate to have met a very interesting person who is the CEO of the regional branch of a multinational company. We conversed about many topics such as globalization, leadership, quality, customers etc… This gentleman captivated us with his resourcefulness, knowledge of the region and creative ideas that he has implemented in his company.
One experience he shared us was very interesting. A few years ago he was faced with making a choice between two large customers; one with standard technology, low cost requirements and the other a very innovative company who always pushes the envelope with respect to technology as well as the external appearance of the products. He chose the later and some of his staff members were not pleased.
One of his senior staff told him, “We should have chosen the customer who has simpler requirements and a is a cash cow. The other customer requirements seem impossible from the technical as well as schedule point of view. Shouldn’t we do analysis of whether it can be done?”
We asked, “How did he convince his technical people to make this happen?”
What the CEO told us was very profound. He said that he sat down with his employees (with whom he is immensely popular) and focused only on how to get it done. Not a single talk or thought about “limitations” was brought about.”
The last sentence he said was, “You know, A bumblebee can not fly. But it does not know that. That is why it flies.”
Reflection: It was an excellent thought/gift as we ended our meeting. But his last sentence brought back memories of the talk I had heard from John Foppe, the guy who was born without arms. When his mother saw a son born without arms, she decided that she is not going to pity him and making him believe he was handicapped so he could not do certain things. She made him believe that he was gifted. He was sent to this world to demonstrate how much a person can accomplish with two legs.
Such is the story of great leaders like the one we met in Singapore or the innovative company that he mentioned. They inspire you to accomplish things that you never thought you could.