BRAIN FOOD: If I had to start again ..

BRAIN FOOD: If I had to start again .. - Worrying about parallel universes, which do and did exist for each of us - if my reading of Scientific American is correct - is not to be recommended.

by Don Cruickshank, non-executive chairman of the London StockExchange and chairman of SMG plc
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Worrying about parallel universes, which do and did exist for each of us - if my reading of Scientific American is correct - is not to be recommended.

So here are two thoughts already. First, whatever your youthful academic pursuit may have been, force yourself to understand at least some of the developments in basic science and its increasingly close twin, philosophy.

The reward will be a wiser appreciation of the speed with which basic science translates into new products and services and threats to your organisation's competitive position. Second, view your successes as at least double, and your failures as half or less of the importance that they might objectively be. This level of efficiency (for that is what it is) came late to me only after working as MD of Virgin with Richard Branson and my short period with Rupert Murdoch. I see its value in my dealings with successful people in more conventional organisations too.

Get out more. Out of the office. Out of your comfort zone. Out of your familiar network. Especially out of the UK. The perspective from abroad was invaluable for me. You need immersion in the markets, society and culture of another place. But now not the US. The East, China definitely, or most of the EU. And, I learned later, don't overcomplicate. Never have more than three or four big thoughts, instructions, or goals.

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