How to Have People Benefit from New Ideas
Writtten by: Simon Hasto | Honest Conversation Copywriting; Säter, Sweden
New ideas jolt people. In fact, they scare people. Remember that the next time you – as a more creative business person or employee – go to express your new “thing” (whatever it may be).
A look in the mirror
Don’t be let down, discouraged or upset when people react in a less than ecstatic way. Instead, recall your own reaction when you – perhaps on a less-than-stellar day – were exposed to this new hot shot person… Maybe they were younger than you, had that zest for life you clearly lacked that day, and bristled with energy. And, to make matters worse: maybe you felt the idea was incredible, revolutionary.
A ninja in the office, stealing everything
In this situation, maybe you felt small, old, or just vaguely threatened. Like someone was stealthily, silently taking your place. They showed no explicit signs of it, and they didn’t seem to threaten anyone else, which only made you feel more threatened. At that moment, what did you do…? Perhaps your defense-mechanisms were triggered and you lashed out – explicitly or implicitly, outward or inward, loudly or silently – which left the real issue buried and forgotten about.
We have a hard time with change. We all do. Not to say all change is indefinitely positive, but that’s for another time (we can all agree change must happen; for good things to happen, and change will happen; regardless of whether we like it).
Step one – start the balancing act
So, the next time you bring this amazing new idea to your employees/whomever, what might you do…? Begin by expecting nothing. In fact, however brilliant, Midas touch-ish or energetic you feel at that moment, consciously bring yourself to the level of those around you. Only then can you get their attention. Why…? Because you showed empathy. At that point, will your thing have an impact? They let down their guard because no one is coming at them – on a sluggish, tired, slow day – like a rushing train, but instead, expresses at their energy level.
Step two – keep balancing
When you try this, just observe what happens. That’s the second step. You’ve gone in, “normal energy” – normal being that of those around you; like a DJ calibrating to her audience – and now you just keep calibrating (like a DJ – the crowd always changes).
Step three – make it about them
Of course, you begin interacting about your new idea. What does this do…? Brings people – makes them feel part of something. Know what…? They are. Nothing contrived about this – leadership at its finest.
So, to recap, the three steps are:
- Go in and express your idea with their level of energy
- Continually “calibrate” to how they feel
- Ask them what they think; naturally starting an interaction about this thing you introduced.
Try it, see what happens.
- Observe your own reaction to new ideas expressed by others.
- Should you be negative toward the new, try a new program of being positive.
- Monitor reactions to your new positive attitude.
- See if additional opportunities presented as you become more positive.
- Test expressing a new idea to a peer to see how it is received.
- Brace yourself for negative feedback regarding your new ideas.
- Use the negative comments as motivating factors to move forward.
- Document results from ignoring the negative.
- Incorporate valid feedback into your new programs.
- Celebrate Success!
NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work
Written by: Jon Sabes
When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward.
However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:
- He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
- He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
- When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
- While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
- In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.
Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.
Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.
Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.
His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”
When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”
On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.
“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”
That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing. Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.
Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”
When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it. He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.
I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.
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