Only the Paranoid Survive?

Adam Callender
2 min readNov 6, 2021
Photo credit: Vidisha Sanghvi on Unsplash

Only the Paranoid Survive?

In many fields of endeavour, if we are not looking over our shoulder, we should be.

I know that this doesn’t sound like fun, however in sales as in competition, someone is ready to displace us. In Formula 1 Max is ready to displace Lewis. In politics, the same, the leader can be toppled by a challenger. At work our role is often desired by someone else.

Advantage and leverage is sought. Everyone has to sell concepts, it is the language of persuasion. You’re not in sales? I beg to differ. Living in a sales role (or realm as I like to think) means that the odds are against you. It’s a competitive environment, where information is crucial.

Partnerships internally and externally play a critical part to success. Nothing is achieved by ourselves we are interdependent.

Information is constantly sourced and verified. Regularly scanning the horizon, checking with stakeholders. Mapping influence to ensure no one is forgotten. Otherwise, we unfortunately may well be.

Seeking to understand the mood in the room. Waiting for moments of consensus and clarity. Aligning with the desired outcomes.

Traction doesn’t come from more social posting or working your network and asking for favors. Traction comes from accompanying the customers you’ve chosen on a journey that they’re eager to go on….Being clear about ‘who’s it for?’ and ‘what’s it for?’ is the actual hard work of developing customers. Seth Godin

What can be done?

Navigating the future state sought over the current state which must be well understood. What is our mission, our purpose. Where are we now?

Taking a closer look. How is the environment changing? Where are the risks, in addition, the opportunities? What remains be done, understanding that this is often complex.

A consistent focus, with daily application and patient persistence. We can always improve. Just like an athlete looks at themselves as work in progress, working on their mental and physical preparation. Thinking how they can develop their craft, not standing still, but pushing the envelope. Just as they prepare long in advance for when the have their chance, getting the build up right. Working on nutrition and hydration, strength and cardio. Preparing for the day, managing their energy.

Don’t know about you, I can’t help hearing I Think I’m Paranoid by Garbage.



Adam Callender

Sydney based, Adam coaches and mentors career professionals, leaders and business owners. He is fascinated by humans, motorsport, mountain bikes and technology.