Are you worth it? Then listen up!
I love this story that my good friend and Art of Brilliance colleague, Andy Cope, tells in his new book, Leadership: The Multiplier Effect (Hodder & Stoughton 2018.)
Many years ago a well-known cosmetic manufacturer and retailer invited their brightest and best people to a conference in a far-flung exotic part of the world.
They had a challenging problem; their products were a bit more expensive than their competitors. They needed to come up with a new marketing buzz line that would compel customers to pay more when they could get exactly the same for less elsewhere.
After three long days of blue sky dreaming, brainstorming and thinking outside of the box they were no closer to an answer.
The exhausted conference delegates started checking out of the resort feeling frustrated, weary and defeated.
The receptionist noticed how downbeat everybody was and asked why. One of the delegates responded, “We’ve spent the last 72-hours attempting to create a marketing campaign to persuade our customers to spend extra on our products. I mean, why should you?”
The receptionist looked at the bleary-eyed delegate and shrugged her shoulders saying, “Because you’re worth it?”
And that’s how the slogan was born and a global campaign launched.
Sometimes the best solutions come from the least likely of places, so it’s imperative that you get everyone involved – and listen.
BTW: listen is an anagram of silent. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio. In fact, strive to become a great listen by aiming for a ratio of 10:1 (list-ten)
Listen more than you talk – STOP interrupting people and forcing you and your ideas on them. Instead, be curious and inquire about other people and their ideas.
Ask real questions. Here’s the problem and this is what I’m proposing to do about it is pretty rubbish.
Here’s the challenge – any ideas? is much better and likely to get buy-in from your team to generate novel ideas and creative solutions.
Ninja-level is very advanced indeed. It takes some guts so you might want to build up to it. If your team is starting to perform and you’re already letting them share in the creation of the solution then ask: What do you think the problem is?
This is difficult because it bucks the trend. Leaders often feel they have to have all of the answers. Asking questions like these might make you feel that you’re shirking your leadership responsibilities.
I promise you, asking great questions is your number-one modern-day leadership responsibility. It’s about valuing your team and the diversity of thought that their perspectives might bring to problem-solving in your organisation.
Dare you be a leader? It’s the best way to engage your team.
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I’m passionate about inspiring people to tap into their unique talents and strengths – to be the best they can be – to fulfill the potential they always knew they had. It’s not about ‘fixing’ you. Rather, it’s about helping you access the best part of yourself so you’re able to make the changes, release the dragons and powerfully step into your brilliance.
If you are interested in performance coaching, try my free 20-minute introductory session. Just respond to this email with your name and what challenges you are having – I’ll then arrange a time and date for us to chat by phone or face-to-face.
Get in touch TODAY by email or call my office on +44 (0)20 8798 3433.
Mark Russell Inspired Performance Coaching – Dedicated to Your Success.