• Paulo Mateus

What you should learn from pirates

Pirate lessons for your business, in a nutshell


Recently one CEO made a bold step – he wanted to meet the CEO of the longtime rival competitor / nemesis.

As in their industry they lead the two main players in the national market, at first sight some interpreted the move as an act of weakness. Well, that might not be the case – on the contrary, this is probably the right step to give and it shows both vision and strength.

Its ok to have rivals and competition drives performance, but business leaders should learn to be more plastic and fast adapt to new circumstances. The fast-paced change has been the new normal for years, and if your business is just now becoming aware of that…well…that is not good.

To strive the business leaders must read the context and adapt promptly – new projects may become ventures with multiple partners; these ventures may include [potential or not so potential] competitors, mostly if you are targeting new markets or untested waters. Bringing people with different backgrounds or from diverse knowledge areas will enrich your final delivery – and the gains will offset the learning curve from some of the team members.

For years I believe that in the future projects will be more and more task oriented – teams will be built around a given problem, with people with complementary skills, and will dissolve or move to another project once it is delivered. This will be even more true for creative/knowledge-based projects, were brains are the main asset.

So, follow the steps of the CEO from our original story and be flexible. Be flexible to learn and even join forces with your competitors to face new common challenges. New projects are in fact new ventures, and so act as pirates did once – bring the best crew along, venture forth and split the gains. And please, make sure you have the best pirates around in your crew.


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