Our Past Is Not Always A Guarantee For Future Success
February 11, 2022
It’s the cricket season in India right now, and I was watching a game on TV with my son a few days back. During one of the breaks, a mutual fund Ad flashed where the voice-over ended with this message-
“Mutual fund investments are subject to risks. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns. Read all scheme-related documents carefully.”
This Advertisement got me thinking about a parallel we all see in our work life.
We may have worked with a renowned company or managed complex projects, or delivered some exceptional results in the past. How much of what we have done in the past guarantees success in what we are doing currently?
We all operate in a rapidly changing environment- either activated by us or the environment. For example, we change roles at the workplace, change jobs, or the expectations of what should be done change, the business environment changes, or the Management changes.
To what extent can we rely on our past experience in dealing with the changes we encounter today?
For those of us who are knowledge workers, particularly in roles involving some sort of managerial or leadership responsibilities, much of what we do depends on the specific situation and context. While experience is always useful, it is not guaranteed that it will help us succeed in whatever we do. In fact, I would argue- sometimes our experience becomes baggage where our past defines how we see our present and our future. We get stuck with “it did not work in the past, I am sure it will not work in the future.”
Whenever we enter a new situation or a new context, it is essential that we approach it with a fresh perspective and fresh eyes without letting our experience dictate our thinking with the “I know it all attitude.”
We should be prepared to unlearn and re-learn based on the demands of the present context or circumstances. We should be prepared to operate with an open mind knowing that our past experience is no guarantee for future success !!