Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs
I wrote about connecting the dots in an earlier blog post. When I came across the Forbes article today (http://onforb.es/r4Ilqt) I knew I had the right subject with which to return to writing.
If I look forward, trying to connect my “dots” – this what I see. It’s clear that I must pay attention to the possibilities and the outside influences, but how do I choose where I go? It is not clear.
It all makes sense in retrospect. If I look the other way – backwards the “dots” (opportunities, jobs, products, bosses, friendships, successes and failures) make a pattern. They show a movement forward towards the goal, the almost constant learning and adjusting, the trust building. I’ve seen that I learned to trust my inner voice, I am capable, very capable of discerning the best way. Funny that, your colleagues actually may learn to trust and value your leadership before you yourself do.
Product professionals are very special people. I am very glad to be counted as one. We can do a lot of creative things, even if we have to burn the midnight oil to find the time to get to them. There’s always the paperwork, the reports to be generated, the emails to be answered. The launch to be done.
I think looking backwards helps us in product to decide HOW to move forward, to choose the best path. Once you’ve seen the pattern, you’re spot on.