“"How many leaders actively seek out and encourage views alien and at odds with their own? All too few...Who in your organization serves as your Challenger In Chief? Interrogating the choices you are considering making? Making you consider the uncontemplated, the unimaginable and that which contradicts or refutes your position? And also challenging you?"”
Up Front: April 2012
It would not be a stretch to call this our innovation and imagination issue, but the more I think it over, the more I feel it is our tenacity issue.
Buzz Aldrin’s importance in the history of the world cannot be overstated, and yet I get the impression when reading Matt Thurber’s interview (see page 38) and others that Aldrin views 32 years of sobriety as his greatest achievement. I find it fascinating that the second man to walk on the Moon is also someone who, minute by minute, bravely faced down his own demons here on Earth until he conquered them–to the point where he has been able to help others who are experiencing similar struggles.
In his latest book, William Shatner emphasizes how important it is to say Yes to opportunity and to life in general. Shatner (see page 16) is no stranger to personal struggles and there have been several moments in his career where it must have felt to him as if the whole world was saying No. But he has triumphed time and again and now, at age 81, has just finished an acclaimed one-man show on Broadway–not to mention helicopter-flying lessons.
It is easy to forget that all major feats start out as tiny ideas that must be nurtured through, among other things, sheer hard work and discipline. Putting one foot in front of the other towards a goal is maybe the most important discipline of all. I have never forgotten a comment BJT cover subject Bobbi Brown (August/September 2011) made to editor Jeff Burger after he asked about her vision of the future when her company was just starting out. She replied that if she’d known then how successful she’d become, the prospect would have been so overwhelming that she wouldn’t have built her business. But of course, she didn’t have to deal with the success–and the work that led to it–all at once. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics became a global enterprise because day by day and project by project, she moved steadily in the right direction.
By the time you read this issue, we will have distributed our first-ever Chinese-language BJT Buyers’ Guide at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai. Not long ago, the idea of translating our publication into Chinese and circulating it across Asia would have seemed preposterous and even impossible. Yet here we are on the verge of a new frontier for BJT. The issue came together piece by piece and was not without its trials and setbacks, but the final product is something we are immensely proud of.
It’s an important lesson to remember when the end result seems unattainable: keep putting one foot in front of the other and one day you may look up and find yourself standing on the Moon–or at least publishing in Shanghai.