Yesterday I wrote about getting to the edges of a space in order to create new and original thought (therefore being a leader in defining the next edge).
That sounds simple enough — but it’s certainly not easy. It’s a time-consuming and intense challenge to stay at the edge while also trying to lead others at the edge.
It’s easiest for practitioners to stay at the edges — you’re in it, you’re doing the work, and you’re doing it every day. The challenge is in also sharing that point of view. It’s easiest to slow down to create material to speak to the edges, but now the edge has moved.
To be a leading practitioner and a leading thought leader is crazy difficult.
This becomes even more problematic when you’re leading the at intersection of spaces. You’ve suddenly multiplied the amount of work and attention necessary to stay at the edges.
This is what I find so impressive about someone like Elon Musk — he’s at the edges of automotive, electric power, solar power, space flight, neural technology, and more. (By the way, that’s after he moved on from the edges of online payments). It’s mind boggling!
And make no mistake — it comes at a sacrifice. It’s not surprising that he’s been through multiple divorces.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
And frankly, even for those who are able to lead at the edges, the tradeoff may not be worth it (both to be a leading practitioner and also a thought leader).
Are you interested in practicing at the edges? What about leading at the edges?
Are you willing?