Knowing A Good Idea Whose (Timing) Has Come Is Key For Leadership

I know I wrote that paraphrasing incorrectly in my blog post title. It’s weakly related to one of Victor Hugo’s famous sayings.

On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées.

Which has a gazillion translations and adaptions according to Wikipedia:

  • One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.
  • One cannot resist an idea whose time has come.
  • No one can resist an idea whose time has come.
  • Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.
  • Armies cannot stop an idea whose time has come.
  • Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
  • Nothing else in the world…not all the armies…is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
  • Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

My gosh he sure has a lot of good ones.

  • Vous avez des ennemis? Mais c’est l’histoire de tout homme qui a fait une action grande ou crée une idée neuve. C’est la nuée qui bruit autour de tout ce qui brille. Il faut que la renommé ait des ennemis comme il faut que la lumière ait des moucherons. Ne vous en inquiétez pas, dédaignez! Ayez la sérénité dans votre esprit comme vous avez la limpidité dans votre vie. You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.
  • Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
  • Aimer, c’est agir. To love is to act

I then got interested in the word “timing”:

  • Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing. —Warren Spahn
  • You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect. —Miyamoto Musashi
  • Timing and arrogance are decisive factors in the successful use of talent. —Marya Mannes
  • Life is about timing. —Carl Lewis
  • Comedy and music are so similar because it’s all about timing. —Josh Groban
  • With writing, timing is everything. Being in the right place at the right time. —John Ridley
  • The only thing I don’t think people don’t understand about good leaders is that they’re both good and lucky. A lot of it is timing. —Marshall Goldsmith

And really the only way to get the right timing is through A LOT of trial and error. The “luck” part of the equation comes from trying it at juuuuuust the right time. So try a lot lot lot lot and hope that you’re doing it just when the idea’s time has come! Good luck! —JM