Posted on January 17, 2023
Some years ago, in early December, I boarded a plane in New York bound for Paris. A client was making a big acquisition in Europe and my job was to give a keynote speech at the merger kickoff meeting. I needed to get there in a hurry, so I booked a flight on the Concorde.
You may remember the Concorde—it’s the only supersonic commercial airliner that’s ever flown. I was really fired up about the chance to fly at Mach 2, faster than the speed of sound.
We left Kennedy International in late afternoon and headed out over the Atlantic Ocean. Before long we broke the sound barrier. It felt like a small bump in the flight, sort of a lurch . . . actually, no big deal. But something else happened that was truly dramatic.
The Concorde cruised at 60,000’, over 11 miles high. The plane flew twice as high and twice as fast as conventional airliners. At that altitude I actually could see the curvature of Planet Earth. And at Mach 2—twice the speed of sound—I was flying faster than a rifle bullet.
We were probably halfway to Paris when the person next to me looked out the window and said, “What is that?” I leaned over to see what she was talking about. It was bizarre! Ahead, off in the distance, I saw a total wall of blackness reaching as high and wide as I could see. In my millions of miles of flying, I had never seen anything like it before. My first thought was that we were heading into the worst storm I’d ever experienced. But, no, that couldn’t be right, because at 60,000 feet we were flying far above ordinary weather patterns.
Then it hit me. We were flying east, and what I saw was night, headed west. I literally could see where night started!
The thought that went through my mind was we are about to collide with the future.
That is what’s happening today here on Planet Earth. The future is coming fast, and it’s going to slam us! Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and bestselling author, says, “We will experience more change in the next 20 years than we’ve seen in the past 200.”
Are you ready to deal with an exponentially faster rate of change? Will you change as rapidly as the world is changing?
I had the feeling that evening, flying at twice the speed of sound, that I was getting a head start on tomorrow! It was like, “I’m gonna get to the future first!”
The flight inspired me to write you², the handbook where I codify the rules for high-velocity leaps in performance.
Clue: It’s not about “trying harder.”
ABOUT DR. PRICE PRITCHETT
Price Pritchett is one of the foremost experts on fast-growth strategies and breakthrough performance. His firm—PRITCHETT, LP—is recognized worldwide for its thought leadership on mergers, corporate culture, change management, and accelerated achievement. These writings define the behaviors and individual mindset underlying fast growth and innovation.READ MORE