I read The Big Moo last week. The tagline of the book is “Stop trying to be perfect and start being remarkable”. It has stories/advice on what it takes to be remarkable as a person and as an organization. Here are some of the highlights:
Imagine that global competition will cause your company to rely on donations to survive (ie we cannot charge for our products/services…clients just have to like us enough to make a donation). How will you prepare? How will you change your relationship with clients?
The book tells a story about a person that fixes bicycles. For every bike, he does his best job. Then, he spends last 5 minutes doing something unique…something that the client did not ask for. Those last 5 minutes make it easy for clients to find the difference between you and everyone else. What do we do with our clients in the last 5 minutes?
The book talks about how most people have their days consumed by urgent tasks or “fire fighting”. It asks the question, do you really think that you are too busy to work on something remarkable? In fact, you are too busy to do all that emergency stuff. For the emergency stuff, you really have to ask the impact of putting it off or not doing anything…
Fear vs. Anxiety. Fear is one of the most useful emotions we have. It keeps us sharp and focused. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a killer. Anxiety is false fear that corrupts our lives. Anxiety is what happens when you imagine possible negative outcomes instead of embracing the reality of right now. Of things that you are anxious about, how many actually occur? If you had ignored that anxiety, wouldn’t things have gone more smoothly?
Think in metaphors, to apply the lessons you learn from one context to another. Embrace the power of storytelling to ring it all together. Storytelling has an emotional appeal that trumps all the raw data in the world.
Your attitude is your life. Solve problems without a crummy attitude and everyone wins.
Don’t let the seeds stop you from enjoying the watermelon. Tell yourself this every day. It will change your attitude.
Juggling is not what you think it is. When you are juggling, you are both throwing and catching. Most people spend their time trying to learn how to catch. However, in reality, the skill they need is throwing. Applying this to the business world, many people run around chasing emergencies, etc…just trying to catch and react. Be a thrower instead. Organizations need more throwers…people that create, instead of just reacting.
Focus on the journey…not just the outcomes. The lack of guarantees is what makes work so compelling.