When I first worked at Apple, most of the people leading change were perfect. Perfect as in: went to a great prep school, ended up at an ivy league, had gone onto Harvard, got recruited by this hot fruit company in Silicon Valley, the place where the 1984 ad was written by Bill Cleary and gang. They knew their stuff. And they “knew” they were perfect.
I, on the other hand, had not yet finished even my degree let alone an MBA. I got ignored by the perfect people as not having enough experience, authority or education to have an opinion. Along the way, Jim Buckley asked me to take on a shit job that no one else wanted. I had no idea what was involved but said, yes. I asked for help, I asked a lot of questions, I sweated every analytic, every nuance. In the end, I (with a lot of help) came up with an answer for the business that grew it multi-fold (from $2M to $180M in 18 months), and got recognized by the industry in a hand-written nomination process by the channel partners. I was in no ways perfect in how I went about achieving that goal. I just kept at it.
Life is more than perfectness. Most answers in life don’t come in whole cloth. Business problems are never tidy and all the information known. The edges won’t align and all the parts don’t show up all at once. But keeping at it lets you keep asking questions for what you need to know, and how to build something out of seemingly disparate mess.
Life usually comes in little bits and pieces — odd shapes that look mismatched — that need to be woven together and make them whole.