I’ve two guys in the great ring of achievement, Mr. Hard and Mr. Smart. You’re cheering in the front-row-seats eager to see who gets knocked down first while on the mic, I am the all-time ring announcer. First, just like in all other heavyweight championships, let us start off with introductions: Mr. Hard is 7 feet (213 cm) tall, he weighs 348 pounds (158 kg) –the tallest and heaviest in the history of heavyweight boxing championship. Mr. Smart on the other hand is 5.7 feet (170 cm) tall, he weighs 148 pounds (67 kg) — probably the size of a 12-year-old.
Round 1, Mr. Hard rolls out early punches, wakes up early before sunrise, even though sleepy still he rises, for the big day ahead of him, ready to work hard to return back home late in the evening with a prize. Late in the night, he is still up, hoping that tomorrow will bring with it a surprising surprise. On the other hand, Mr. Smart only rises with the sun, bathes its morning light(vitamin D, so you should know), informs himself on trending news, does basic physical exercise, and prepares to go for a lunch meeting in 4 hours. From there he’ll attend 2 more meetings before returning back home to a bottle of wine and good music.
Round 2, Mr. Hard’s performance is based on physical strength at least most of the time — he sweats it off until he makes it. He invests a lot of time and energy in whatever he does for as long as he can do it. On the other hand, Mr. Smart’s performance is based on mental strength at least most of the time — he thinks it off until he makes it. He applies a lot of thinking, planning, and due diligence every time.
Round 3, Mr. Hard is the type of person who if there are 1000 doors with only one correct key meant to open only one correct door, he’ll begin from door number-one trying to unlock it all the way through all doors until finally, he randomly lands on the correct door. Mr. Smart on the other hand, in the same exact scenario, will first and foremost layout a drawing board from which he’ll plan out the entire search and open. He’ll focus more on strategic analysis based on facts, theory, examples, history, and probabilities. Where Mr. Hard will try 750 doors before opening the correct one, Mr. Smart could find the right door at the second attempt– because he used the first attempt as a case study.
Round 4, if Mr. Hard was a salesman he would grab his products and go looking for clients, hoping that along the way he’ll meet some interested enough to buy. On the other hand, Mr. Smart would first put his thoughts together about the right way to approach potential clients by identifying who they are in the first place. So that by the time he goes out to sell, he already knows who is interested enough to buy from him.
Round 5, when things are going wrong, Mr. Hard doubles up his strength, forcing things even more. He rarely takes steps back to find out if there are no errors or mistakes in what he’s doing until he bumps into problems which Mr. Smart, on the other hand, has the ability to anticipate and prepare for.
Round 6, Mr. Hard believes that in order to get more quantity output, you’ve to put in more quantity input which is totally the opposite with Mr. Smart who puts in more quality to get out both more quality and quantity.
Round 7, when opportunity knocks Mr. Hard gets excited jumping on its back immediately, and begins to exploit it right away. As a result, with time, he realizes he made several mistakes which Mr. Smart could’ve avoided simply by taking a little bit more time to study the opportunity, plan an implementation strategy while evaluating and improving his style gradually.
Round 8, Mr. Hard likes to play solo, the idea of belonging to a team that can share everything including the harvest does not sound well with him which is something Mr. Smart can not do without. Unlike Mr. Hard, he loves team playing — that way bigger things become broken down into smaller tasks, much easier and more convenient to complete. He does not worry about sharing the harvest — together the team achieves more, faster, and easier.
Round 9. Mr. Hard does not go along well with Mr. Smart. He has a negative perception of him and avoids his company. Little does he know that a synergy between himself and Mr. Smart creates market disruptions to their favor, huge profits, and success in their name. Therefore, he keeps punching and punching but for how long before you get tired. That’s when Mr. Smart knocks him down with one Mike-Tyson blow.
Round 10, it’s hard for Mr. Hard to stand up on his feet after the fall, no matter how many times the referee counts down ‘1..2..3..4..5..7..). At this point, only the bell can save him. Maybe next time before stepping in the ring, he’ll have learned and mastered the art of smartness:
Lesson to learn:
Working hard is not bad at all. In fact, every task requires a certain degree of applied hard work. Therefore, the above presentation neither intended to mock people who work hard nor underrate them. Rather, the moral of the story is for you to understand that the days of ‘survival for the fittest’ ended with the last date of the 18th century before the invention of the steam engine– on that fateful night before the beginning of the first modern industrial revolution. Since then people who work smart, using the latest technology, proven models, effective strategies, skilled labor, favoring quality over quantity, talent over dare went on to become the wealthiest and most powerful in the world. On the other hand, their workaholic-counterparts ended up becoming their servants. Yes, it’s true, smart people are more powerful because they control and direct their minds which is something merely hardworking people fail to accomplish because they still follow an old doctrine of physical strength. A lost cause!
Take a good look at all developed nations, they’ve one thing in common, their level of performance has nothing to do with psychical strength but mental acumen, intelligence, smartness, applied wisdom. Flip the coin and you’ll find poor nations still struggling to unlock their mental powers, catching up to smart ways; of doing things, of living, of working, of studying, of building, of communication, of trading, of management, and leadership, of dealing with challenges, of seeking and exploiting opportunities.
All major global leading corporations, fortune 500 companies, and leading institutions share an identical characteristic. Intelligence drives everything they do. They get it right first in the mind, then on the planning board, then in the samples, then in the experiment, and on and on. They are mature enough to step aside and allow the best of the best to lead the way and to challenge, monitor, and evaluate them constantly lest they forget the reason they stand at the helm of things.
I beseech you to be smart, allow intelligence to guide your way as you try to survive and thrive in this life. Work hard if you must but smart always. Don’t be a perfect example of poor performance. ‘Action’ does not come first on any list. First comes thoughts(thinking), second comes words(expressing), and finally comes action(doing). Thinking represents all forms of analysis; expressing represents all forms of discussion, observing, reaction, and reporting; doing represents all forms of implementation, execution, experiment, seeking, and obtaining results.
I’ve no doubt you’re going to be Mr. Smart from now onwards.
Editorial/ Yewe Yewe