Recently I was visiting my parents in South Carolina. I would start the day before anyone got up, fishing the tidal golf course ponds and canals in the area. Each morning I found the canals filled with baitfish. This morning while working my minnow shaped lure along the edge of a canal near the baitfish, a small 3 foot alligator watched as I moved down the shoreline in his direction.
As I calculated enough room to pass by the gator and continue fishing, I approached a 90 degree bend in the canal. Coming down the opposite shore and towards me was a “push” on the water’s surface from a sizeable Redfish cruising along the canal’s edge looking for baitfish to eat. As the Red turned the corner and was now heading in the direction of the gator the water’s movement meant something to the alligator on my side of the shore too.
A perfect cast in front of the Red, he turned to attack my lure. The young gator that had already shifted direction to follow me instantly lunged for the feeding Red. Then nothing. No fish on my line. No fish in gators mouth.
Yet, the little gator and I shared a common, primal moment that morning. Our brains were connecting the dots of information- bait in the area, water movement, and timing to intersect our target, to accomplish our respect goals. In this case we each came close, and no doubt both will succeed on our next attempt.
Likewise each day we all must connect the dots of information in our business too. Dots represented by such information as market and customer trends, competition’s strategies, buying behavior changes, customer pain points, your team’s motivations and desire to make sense out of information. Some of those dots represent patterns of information we have seen many times before, while other dots are new and specific to that moment. Both are relevant and matter to our success. And even when success is missed, the next time will come again.