Several times over the past several weeks, I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon.
At every presentation, I’ll be outlining the steps required to stand out in the marketplace of the group I’m speaking to — even with a slide at the end of each point saying, “What to do when you get home” with a list of actions every participant should take.
However, at the end of the presentation, I will now say to the group: “Before my last story, I want you to write down the first thing that you are going to DO when you get home to stand out from your competition.”
Invariably, some will instantly scribble a point, circle it, draw arrows pointing to it, and smile. However, many in the group stare at the ceiling, rub their foreheads and write in fits and starts. (Even though I’ve already given them at least a dozen potential first steps during the presentation.)
Obviously, it’s possible that some just weren’t listening. However, as I’ve observed them taking notes, that isn’t the correct answer for most of the ones involved.
Here’s my take — it’s a two-step problem.
- First, it’s one thing to see a list of potential steps you can take. It’s quite another to decide which one you are going to commit to taking.
Many years ago, I was asked to be a judge in our local beauty pageant to be the queen of our county fair. (The winner would go on to compete for the title of Miss Indiana State Fair.) There were several talented and attractive participants. So much so, in fact, that I had a very difficult time selecting one to be my vote as the winner.
In other words, when presented with the choice of many terrific options, it becomes very difficult to decide which is best. A natural response is to either delay making a choice — or, to become paralyzed by the process.
- Second, there is something about writing out your decision that makes it more serious and binding.
Perhaps it is a throwback to our understanding about the importance of a contractual agreement — even if that agreement is only with yourself. We seem to take it more seriously once we write it down.
Some were having trouble making the commitment to take action. They were making all of the excuses in their minds — “I’m already too busy,” “What if I try it and it doesn’t work?” “I wonder if my boss is going to ask me about it?” and more.
Yet, without a commitment — what is ever accomplished? You must first make a commitment to action before you can make significant progress!
This process has been a real learning experience for me — and, it can be for you, as well!
- Discipline yourself to make a decision. What will you DO…starting NOW…to create distinction in your marketplace?
- Next — write it down and commit yourself to that action.
- Finally — GET STARTED!
You are on your way…….