Questions are magic for jump starting the mind.
A great, yet simple question came from one of my colleagues in the context of developing a series of ideas:
“Is it too much?”
Meaning, is it too much of a break from tradition, outside of our comfort zone and those that will be touched by it?
I bet everyone asks themselves sub-consiounsly something along these lines when developing any NEW thinking.
It’s in part driven by fear. Maybe fear of rejection, or fear of the blood/sweat/tears that may be associated with pulling the idea off. Few things are easy.
How many great contributions are NOT brought forward in a business because people are holding back and thinking it may be too much? Too many. What a shame….
Maybe it’s too many because our education system does not value “playing loose” but insists on staying in line and talking only when your called on. 18 years of that model and you wouldn’t exactly be trained to push the envelope would you? That’s a digression, but I’ve profiled some lessons from my son’s first grade class…
Leadership’s role is to inspire a culture where people disrupt the status quo and feeling trusting enough to do that. Killing business as usual.
Cultures that inspire fanaticism, breaking things and pushing the envelope may often be chaotic, and not everyone thrives in chaos.
What about the individual?
First, performance is rarely equally spread.
Show me any company and I will show you a “bell curve” of distribution among its talent. There will be an 80/20 rule emerge where the few contribute out-sized results.
We can all wonder why this exists.
Natural Born Talent……they hit the genetic jackpot!
Luck! Right place, right time!
Out-sized achievements that were parlayed time and time again….
How about this for a hypothesis?
The people that tend to be the top 10% of any business come in all shapes and flavors. But they tend have one thing in common: They believe that nothing is too much. They tend to go over the top. They go all in, not just enough, in every area that matters.
Pick any area of the operation that matters, and I bet you will see something emerge with the stars. Everything about them, when compared to the “average” will be considered TOO MUCH, especially in the eyes of the average.
There’s a great law of statistics that is worth understanding:
Correlation does not imply causation.
Just because two things are related, does not mean one drives the other. BUT, when 2 variables move in the same direction……you are in the area of needing to poke around and learn more. You are getting warmer.
And maybe the most important question of all?
If you have a burning desire to achieve something, ask yourself:
Am I ALL IN?
If your being honest with yourself and the answer is not an emphatic HELL YES!, CONGRATS! You have just walked up to the starting line.