People often say “what got you to this level, won’t get you to the next level”. I’ve said it as well, and thought I believed it; but it’s an incomplete statement.
Yes, in life and business, we need to consistently improve in order to handle the increase responsibilities that come with success; but we succeeded for a reason. The innate qualities and insights that got us to this level are what we need to hold on to; we simply need to add to them and become better.
“If railroads had understood they were in the transportation business instead of the steel-rail business, we'd all be flying on union Pacific Airlines” ~Bill Gates
You see an example of this in the music business. The first or second album of many artists are their most impactful or commercially successful. Usually because those albums are the culmination of several years of blood, sweat, and tears. They were hungry.. and they put their whole selves into it.
But when they become “successful”, they ease up and think that their success is an immovable quality that will perpetually ensure continued success; when really it was their drive, determination, and hustle that produced the success in the first place. Corporate and business interests also get in the way and the forget to keep the main thing the main thing.
It’s important to focus on our core mission, and those aspects of ourselves and companies which brought us to the current level. Yes, we may need to make necessary adjustments and improvements; but we should also double down on those core and inimitable qualities that make us what we are.
The external results we see are simply manifestation of things that can’t be easily measured. Too often we fall in love with the shiny things, but we have to remember what it took to produce the shiny things. A lot of dirt and grind probably.