We live in a world of quick fixes and shortsightedness. We want things fast, need them now and crave instant gratification. An example for you.

I’m here at Heathrow airport in London. I have 4 hours before my flight to The Middle East so I’ve been exploring. Checking out the bookshops to see what’s new (just picked up a book called “Golden Apples: A Wealth of Wisdom You Can’t Afford to Ignore” by Bill Cullen – head of Renault Ireland), sipping on a Starbucks latte and looking for ideas to satisfy the curiosity that consistently burns within me.

So I walked into a fashion shop. The colors and style attracted me. You know I love great design – whether it’s in furniture, art or clothing. I was greeted with a warm smile by the woman behind the counter. I complimented her on her wares. Told her I thought the store was great. Then I said I’d look forward to returning sometime in the future as I needed to travel light on this trip. Her smile vanished. Unbelievable. Because I didn’t buy anything. Because I no longer was of value to her. Because I no longer fit within her agenda. Short-term thinking. At its best.

Success and winning takes time. Greatness incubates. Percolates. Like a good cup of Columbian coffee. Drip by drip you eventually arrive at perfection. The saleswoman should have been more concerned with developing a connection with me – her customer – and giving me a reason to come back. She should have been thinking about the relationship (like the best salespeople do; top sales pros don’t sell – they help their clients buy). Sure there would be nothing wrong if she helped me buy today. Part of the goal in business is to make a profit. Nothing wrong with that at all. But she missed the bigger picture. She went for the quick fix and the fast win. I could have been a great customer. Over time. But not now.

Getting to world-class, in both your career and within your life is a process. The best things in life take time to evolve, mature and reach their best state. Slow and steady does win the race. Forget expecting everything now. Be patient. Life’s timing just might not be the same as your timing.

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