It turns out the legend of Cortez burning the ships was actually found to be inaccurate. Cortez didn’t just burn the ships to prevent the option of retreat. He actually ran his ships into ground and many of them were broken and disabled before he set them ablaze.
While the moral of the story is a powerful theory for success, in this instance there could have been dire consequences for the Spanish invaders with no option for retreat. While there are times it makes sense to take the risk, burn the ships, and fully commit, there are other times when doing so is foolhardy.
How do we discern which is which?
Being fully committed does not mean taking radical risks foolishly. Believe it or not there are processes you can use to minimize the chance of failure when you do decide to burn the ships and fully commit yourself. It’s important to note however, that just because you have a strategy does not mean it is the most effective way to get to the desire result.
How do I know if my strategy will work?
The reality of becoming a huge success in business requires making an enormous amount of decisions. One of the biggest mistakes that I see happening all the time are business owners making these important decisions all by themselves.
Imagine if Herman Cortés of Spain were to burn all of his ships and then turn to his army and say, “Well, I’m not really sure what we’re going to do now, but let’s attack and then see what happens.” Yeah, that’s full commitment all right, and it is technically a strategy, but it’s an incomplete strategy. What army is going to want to follow a leader who’s unsure, indecisive, and lacks a well thought out plan?
A good leader knows not to trust themselves solely. They know they can only see a singular perspective. This is why we have advisors, coaches, mentors to help us to make important decision with as much information and perspective as possible.
To me, I love the idea of burning the ships and fully committing to your dreams and goals, but there needs to be a strategy, and that strategy needs to be well thought through with the support from trusted advisors.
Are you ready to “burn the ships” and FULLY COMMIT to making 2016 the year where you fulfill on your dreams for great success?