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OCT. 2015



By: Jack Klemeyer

There is an interesting

dichotomy in business

that makes you

both successful and

keeps you from being

successful and that

is the act of making


We all modify our

world in order for it to

make sense by doing

three basic things, we

generalize, we delete and

we distort things so we can

comprehend, explain and

survive. From that comes

the phrase made famous by

the late Stephen R. Covey,

“The map is not the territory.”

This phrase was not a Covey

original. It was originally coined

in the 1930s by Polish-American

scientist and philosopher, Alfred


In a positive sense, we learn

how a key goes in a lock one

time and then we know how to

do that simple task evermore.

Those generalizations work

for us in all types of ways: In

our sales process, the way

we meet people, the way we

navigate socially at chamber

meetings or other business


Another useful way to use

assumptions is to, as my friend

and author Shelle Rose Charvet

says, “

guess and test.

” That is

the appropriate way (strategy)

to employ the assumption or

the generalization. The test

component is critical. If you

assume something make sure

in some way besides the guess

that you are correct. Otherwise,

the strategy changes from a

positive to a negative.

Korzybski came up with the

catchy phrase noted above

when he noticed that some

people confuse their reality

with reality itself. That is the

dangerous strategy of using

assumptions or generalizations

in business (in life for that

matter) when we assume

something and then react to

it as if it where real without

testing it. I have seen many

talented people use this most

ineffective strategy to their


The Most


Thing to Do in