I am a big fan of TED talks. One of my favourites is from J.J. Abrahams the creator of the hit TV show Lost.
He shares how mystery always plays central role in everything he creates and he also touches on why he thinks rip off movies don’t work.
If you asked most people what the movie ‘Jaws’ was about , the reply would most likely be “It’s about a killer shark!”
True to a degree…but it is about way more than that.
The shark is just what people see on the surface.
Jaws is really about a man finding his place in the world. It’s about Brody and his struggle to find significance in the world.
In the same way the movie E.T. isn’t just about an alien who gets left behind on Earth. It’s about divorce. It is about a young boy who is struggling to come to terms with this parents splitting up.
What has all this got to do with you?
It is easy to look across at someone else or another business who you deem to be more successful and think “maybe I should do what they are doing?” or “We need to have products like that”
Whilst you might be able to replicate their processes or methods, you more than likely won’t get the kind of results that they have.
Why? Because you are focusing on the shark.
Here is my point.
To truly replicate success you have look beyond the shark to the story behind the story.
There are other critical components which will have contributed to success but are invisible to you when you look in from the outside.
Brands like Apple, Google, Zappos, Amazon and Disney aren’t great just because of their products but more so it what is behind the products – the company culture, values, the DNA – which drives the greatness.
All these ‘behind the scenes elements’ are critical components of the story but often there isn’t enough attention paid to them or they are simply missed out all together.
The logo, the HQ, the tie, the shoes, the car and the suit are just other “sharks.”
The bottom line is that to really uncover the secret to another’s success whether that be as individuals or as a business you must look deeper.
A fellow speaker friend and mentor of mine David Hyner has interviewed top achievers and he had the pleasure of speaking with former gold medal winning athlete Kris Akabusi who shared with him a golden piece of insight which I think sums it up nicely.
Kris said “Look into top achievers, not up to them”