MAKE THE MOST OF 2011: Advice From Michael Dell

This year instead of flimsy resolutions that are more dinner conversation fodder than real-life changes for me.  I have adopted a new strategy about how to make the most this new year.  And I got it from Michael Dell.

In 1986 Michael Dell was 21 years and Dell Computer was 3 years old.  Dell was doing $60 million in sales every year.  Business was booming, but Michael Dell was unsure what would come next for the company.


To better think about the future of DELL and map the future of this fledgling company, Michael Dell called a brain-storming meeting in the California wine country in the Fall of ’86, for key company executives and thought leaders from both inside and outside the industry to figure out best to grow the the business and make the most of the future.


They came together to answer 5 crucial questions that Dell himself chose.  They were :

1.  Where is the company today?

2.  What do we think it will become?

3.  Where do we want it to go?

4.  What are the opportunities that can take us there?

5.  And how can we take advantage of them?


They came away with a wish-list listing 131 goals they wanted to achieve as a company over the next several decades.

Today, 22 years after that critical meeting, Dell Computer generates more than $61 billion in revenue and employees more than 82,000 people around the world.  And Michael Dell himself has a personal networth of $17 billion, and is the world’s 11th richest man.


I think it’s fair to say those 5 questions are worth all of us asking ourselves if we’re ever to make the most of the future, and particularly this new year.


For me, the answer to all those questions are 2 words: deliberate practice.*


What are your answers to the above questions?




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