The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.
With an air of triumph he slid the piece of paper across the table as if it was the final offer after a series of long negotiations and proudly announced he had sketched out the business life model he uses.
As I looked at the drawing, it was apparent that penmanship was not a core competency; after he dismissed my quip regarding his mastery of the crayon, he went on to explain "The Project Oriented Business Life".
For him, business was all about the opportunity - Something that had a beginning and an end, that was ultimately closed off, and offered a chance for reflection before you put it behind you and moved onto the next opportunity.
As I listened to his passion, it was his view on the time spent to "go away" and "regain energy & perspective" that offered me the greatest pause for thought. Like most of us, his business life model had him reviewing the outcome (be it either a "win or a lose") but instead of jumping right back in, he would take time to change his context to regain energy and perspective before starting over. Analogous somewhat to taking a walk in the forest when all you do is drive in the city I suppose... "It's opener there in the wide open air"*.
As I walked out of his office with a copy of his "Rembrandt" in hand, I could not help but think of other business life models that people have offered up over the years.
A very competent business leader I have known for years explained to me that for him it was all about working backwards from his goals. He went on to explain he would set out a goal and then work backwards to determine what he needed to get there, how he would get there, develop the timeline and the milestones he needed to ensure success. He went on to say that this just wasn't about developing the right skills or networks but it was important in helping him understand the emotional wherewithal needed to make it happen... achieving a goal, particularly a big one, can be exhausting physically, mentally and sometimes spiritually, so you have to be prepared.
Another insight came with an idea of the iterative development of core competencies and strengths - The thinking in this instance was to understand what you are good at and then start building on it. In doing so, you create an iterative process of development that continues growing as your awareness for new skills increases, which was a result of what you have learned. It was visualized as a spiral forever increasing in size with the centre getting tighter and tighter over time; the reflection of true domain expertise.
Is any one model of thinking better for success, wellbeing, and happiness? Who's to say, and luckily for me it was never my intension to answer this "bunny hole of a question" as I zigzagged my way to making a point.
And that point is it's important to understand and be able to articulate the business life model you use. We all operate using some sort of model (whether we recognize it or not), and the need to understand what it is, how it works, and how you use it is imperative for one important reason - It will help ensure you have aligned what you do with what you want.
This actually brings me back to that "bunny hole question" I was trying to avoid which it seems turns out to be rather straight forward... the best work life model is the one that will help you meet your goals, with each being as unique as the dreams and goals of each person.
In the end, knowing how you operate your business life model increases the chance that you are aligned with your goals and ensures you are using the best tool for your success, wellbeing and happiness.
I will admit I am very surprised how much you can glean from a collection of chicken scratchings... so grab a pen and a piece of paper and get on with it.
* A line from "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss.