“Measure Twice, Cut Once.” I use this phrase more often than an NSA official uses the phrase “Can you hear me now, Verizon?” (sorry Mr. President, but really…oh, and for those of you monitoring me, I was just kidding about the whole NSA/Verizon tapping thing I just mentioned).
I have been known to be “that guy” who ramps into cool, innovative ideas.. but then asks to hit the brakes and slow down. Prep work before busy work. Getting it right, to be sure you get it right.
But there’s my other side… the side that wants to just GO GO GO… especially when, as Tin Cup told us, a feeling of when a “tuning fork goes off in your heart.”
You KNOW it’s good to go. You’re READY. But your calmer half hits pause for the cause. “Wait,” he says. “Be patient.”
Sometimes the sense for a need for calm and a calculated decision sounds right.. but isn’t. You need to stretch, damn the torpedoes, and get a-rollin’! The sense of immediacy, the sense of vitality that washes over you on one of these power decisions (Let’s do this!) is pretty remarkable, positive, and daring.
Now, Mr. Risk Management Guy/Girl reading this, easy does it. I’m not suggesting strategic planning and monster decisions should be based on a “YEEE-HAAA” and a hop on the nearest missile to launch. What I am suggesting it that the idea of “paralysis by analysis” is real. And too often, it is certain moments like this that slide our trajectory ever so slightly… and change a great idea into a kind-of-good one. Still a victory… but not one of those “tuning forks goes off in your heart” ones.
It is in the nature of many of us to be either one or the other. You know these friends. The one who is so impulsive you wonder how she ever finds her way home because you are convinced that between you seeing her and her walking away, she will decide to fly to Cuba. Or that buddy of yours that is so painstakingly slow that you need to tell him about the weekend plans on Monday, just so he can decide if he’s in or out… the mix of these friends and personality types gives us our amazing friendship circles, and makes events and everyday hanging out so much fun.
But for YOU. For you and your direction in life, in business, in so many other decisions… allow for times of impulse. I see the need for these moments especially in those idea sessions and brainstorming (dare I say, an “Idea Break?”)… turn your ideas loose and see what happens.
For example, I was pitching a client idea for a campaign. Almost immediately into the initial tick-tock of the basics, a lone voice popped up announcing “that’s too big and too expensive for what we have here.” He was probably right, and truthfully, the idea of a tad too big for the immediate moment of the organization… that is until I continued and positioned how a campaign like this can be done in stages, where it isn’t a “hit the home run” kind of approach; but rather a plan for “singles and doubles” to reach the eventual endpoint… and that it could be done, with a little boldness and passion toward the end vision. Guard dropped, everyone allowed for their personal passion and belief in what a campaign like that could be, to be thrown over any analytical choke-point.. and a plan emerged. Stretched with passion and drive… not with worry or doubt.
Impulsiveness isn’t the greatest of qualities all the time, but confidence in one’s abilities to launch a project with passion and drive is something else. There will forever be fear of the unknown, a fear of failure. But I feel a greater fear: when I notice that an idea of mine never moved past the initial thought; and then I see it pop up somewhere else.. and that drives my batty. It’s time to let your skills and passion run wild every so often. Project feels too daunting? Stretch out and get into it. Feel like you want to start a hobby but don’t feel like you have the time? Dare yourself to budget your hours more wisely. Worried that a pitch for business is far beyond your reach? Double down, build that kick-ass presentation, and knock the socks off the big boys in the room.
How will you know when you are able to do this? Easy. Grab a mirror and ask yourself this…. “Am I ready to stretch?”
Then get to it, Plastic Man.
join the .movement