Say It, Please

What do you want?

We nudge, hint, and wink about our needs, expecting people to read our minds.

We don’t claim it, expecting the world to give it to us when we are ready.

That is all well, and good except the world isn’t keeping track of what you deserve. The world has its problems.

Instead of expecting something to happen, decide to make yourself vulnerable and ask.

Yes, you will be wrong. It’s going to hurt.

The good news is you’ll kill just a bit of ego and self-delusion in the process.

Step up and be counted.

Claim it.

What Is This For?

You are there to solve problems

You have to produce.

No one is disputing that.

However, at a certain point, you have to decide what you are producing and for what purpose.

Ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Are you making something for someone to see?
  • Are you making something for yourself?
  • Are you solving a problem?

If you find the answers aren’t tending towards solving a problem, you are dealing with fear.

With fear comes overproduction. At that point, it is full of “self-orientation” or ego. You are making yourself feel better because you can point someone to a mound of work, none of which is helping you move the conversation forward.

It’s standard CYA behavior. That’s not being a leader, that’s putting your head in the sand.

Sometimes the answer is less with impact.


Start With the End In Mind

An inversion is a powerful tool

Even if I asked you what do you want, it’s hard to understand how to get there.

That is a part of it too. It doesn’t matter if you know where you want to go if you don’t know how to take the next step.

You don’t even need to know the entire way. That next step, though, is crucial.

I can say I want to get to Denver, Colorado from New York. If I don’t know how to buy a plane ticket (or taking it to its final extreme, walk), then it doesn’t matter.

One of the ways to find out what your next step is in solving a problem, and make no mistake, “What do you want” is a problem, you’ll need to tool of inversion.

What does it mean to invert?

The definition of it is as follows:

put upside down or in the opposite position, order, or arrangement.

I remember it with the saying “Start with the end in mind.”

This saying, or tool, means when you know what you want, starting at the end. And then from there, start working your way “backward.”

Back to the previous example.

I want to get to Denver to New York. What is the result? Me in a hotel room jumping on the bed. How do I get to that?

  • Get to the hotel room – this means booking a hotel room, finding a date to go, taking time off work, etc.
  • Get a taxi – get from the airport meaning, I need to fly, which means I need to buy a ticket

So, what is the first action above? Taking time, because only then do I when I can fly and when I can book the hotel.

Funny, as I was writing this, I didn’t even realize that the first action would be. This practice made me think about the implicit and make it explicit. That is why it is a powerful tool. It helps you understand what your next move is.

The next time you have an issue, try starting with the end in mind and see where it gets you.

My bet is, it will be the next step.



What Do You Want

No Really?

As I typed this, I got sweaty.

Every month I get a new topic to write about, and seldom do I come across one that makes me as nervous as the theme of “What Do You Want” (Hiding from last October made me quite nervous)

It makes me nervous because this question is immensely layered.

Think about it; you have to consider things like:

  • The source
  • The environment
  • The answer

Most of us hedge, and not only do we blame the person who asked, but we also blame ourselves.

If you ask it, you have to consider the pressure of the other side. Most people don’t, and the consequences are significant. “What do you want,” when asked recklessly has ruined relationships, businesses, and families.

Even with that risk, I can think of so few questions that can completely transform your life for the better if you both answer the question and ask it thoughtfully.

So, with that in mind, let’s get into it this month.

“What do you want? ”

At the end of last year, I wrote a newsletter highlighting the “three tenets of leadership.”  Each month, I take a topic related to one of the three tenets and write about my ideas and experience around the topic.

Reread candidate

Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi – Figuring out what we want takes work. One of the aspects that can often be overlooked is the power of community, and how it can hone our wants into something palpable. Also, once you know what you want, you might want to know who can get it for you. Fantastic, actionable book.