Socrates was one of the great Greek philosophers, but what has philosophy got to do with running a small business?
Well, even though he was a great philosopher he didn’t preach the truth, his aim was to lead his pupils to find the truth. He would ask a fundamental question and then accepted nothing they came up with at face value, his aim being to teach them never to assume anything. What a good lesson, and he gave it 2,500 years ago!
Isn’t that the way, even today, we should approach every challenge in our business? Maybe we haven’t changed that much.
Years ago, I had a computer company. I am not technical, however, I would get involved when we had a technical problem. I would be the idiot, not accepting anything, so they had to explain each step. As they did this, I kept asking the question “why”, I continued to do this as we moved through the problem. As I kept asking “why”, they had to keep going back to basics. Very slowly this went on until, suddenly, they would scream they had the answer. This always worked, they were too close to the problem and by explaining it to me they had to go back to basics. Sometimes this took us a long time, other times it worked quickly, but always, in the end, we found the solution. I learnt that with software, there is always a solution, the problem is the length of time it takes to find it!
I have used this technique many times when mentoring companies, taking them back to the start and working through their problem. It works just as well today as it did for Socrates 2,500 years ago.
Therefore, when you have your next challenge remember Socrates philosophy of 2,500 years ago or you can contact us.