What a Critical Doer Can Learn from Black Friday


A critical doer generates motion from “why” more than “what” 

There are many designated combat zones around the world where I’d feel safer than major American retail establishments today…Black Friday.  While many are engaging in combat capitalism, I plan to get in some archery practice and some yard work…but I’m still getting holiday shopping done thanks to a couple of critical doers (and I suspect you are also)…Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos.

Apple and Amazon are both businesses born in the incubator of American innovation…a parent’s garage.  Another commonality is both were born with a firm grasp of “why”…in other words, a strategic vision of meeting a need to improve life for individuals.

Steve Jobs saw opportunities in computing to transform the lives of individuals through information.  Before he came along, no one could envision what an average person would do with a computer.  Can you imagine how an average person would get along now without a computer, regardless of whether that computer takes the shape of a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?

Jeff Bezos began Amazon with a consumer’s time as his compass.  He envisioned a world where consumers could have access to choices without the expenditure of time required to drive to a store, physically find the item, and return home.  Thanks to this vision, I’ve enjoyed the benefit of bargains and will show my appreciation on the archery range.

Simon Sinek wrote a best seller Starting With Why that talks about how Apple, Amazon, and others became successes because they figured out their “why” before “how” or “what” entered the conversation.  It’s evident in letting “why” be your guide, your efforts to define a business model and subsequently products becomes more focused…and with that, your chances of success increase significantly.

I’ve practiced this principle for years but it wasn’t until I read Simon’s book that I was able to find my own words to articulate the principle more clearly…and with greater success.  What opportunities do you have to more clearly determine your own “why” at home or professionally?

The greatest Black Friday bargain you could ever hope to find comes from understanding why in all you do.  Take one thing, either at home or work, and rethink it starting with the perspective of why…see if it changes anything for you and if it does, take the opportunity to rethink your strategy to achieve the desired end state.

It’s what a critical doer would…do!

Updated: November 28, 2014 — 4:17 pm