“I have a feeling”

Think about tomorrow’s agenda. Now ask your gut. What does it tell you?

  • Yay! This will be the absolute best use of my time.
  • Could be better but hey, it’s part of my job.
  • Well, it’s going to be one of these days, you know?!
  • Boo! The mere thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

Our gut isn’t always right. But if something feels off, it at least provides us with a good reason to look closer so that we can uncover what causes it, articulate it clearly and then: adjust! Rewrite the script.

No matter who you are or how well you are doing, there is always something you can flip to improve your results and experience.

Registration for “Flip the Script” is still open. In this 3-months program, Shane Cradock and I show you how to properly listen to your gut, make sense of what you hear, and then consciously re-shape your story. We won’t stop at knowing how to flip the script, we’ll lead you to actually flip it (and we’re absolutely positive on this, so we provide a do-the-work-money-back guarantee.)

There’s a bigger impact to make and we would love to see you make it. Here’s all the info.

Where and why, not how

Leaders who light the path find the words to capture where a team is going and why it’s going there.

What they usually don’t do is to tell their team how to get there.

Because it’s one of the safest ways to demotivate a team of brilliant people: micromanaging them by telling them how to do their work.

Brilliant people are self-motivated. They want to do the best work they are capable of. Not only do they know very well how to do their job, it’s a safe bet to assume that they know it better than you.

Light them the path, but let them decide how to walk it.

PS: Have you read the “Leaders Light the Path” manifesto? If it resonates, please share it with someone who needs to read it.

What customers want

Are you giving your customers what they want or what they need?

Many of the people who care for making an impact and who have turned their passion into their job, maybe even built a company out of it, would say it’s the latter. Their customers might not see it at first but it’s definitely what the customers should be doing.

For example, a client might call a marketing agency because they want more customers but what they really need are better customers.

Now, any marketing agency that fails to address what the customer wants, will never be called by the client in the first place.

There are basically two things you can do about it:

  • Teach the market what it needs, in other words: that they want something different so that they might consider you.
  • Figure out what the customer actually wants and put it in their words.

For example, the client from above says they want new customers but what they actually want is more business. Address that and they might call you – which gives you the opportunity to sell them what they need.

So, what do your customers actually want? And how does that relate to (what you think) they need?

Just thinking

When was the last time you were just sitting somewhere and thinking?

No devices, books, magazines, music etc.

Just you thinking …

Some thoughts will only pop up if you give them the time to pop up.

Why not do it right now?

(That’s right: this means turning the device you’re using to read this off.)

Curiosity

Many presenters tell their audience everything but fail to make them curious for anything.

It’s exactly the other way around: Start from curiosity and ignore everything else at the beginning. If you manage to tap into your audience’s curiosity, they will follow you down that rabbit hole. Wanting you to tell them more. Ever more. Until you’ve told them everything.

Sadly, most presentations turn that on its head. They hope to make people curious for something by telling them everything. Which rarely works. If only because most people have long tuned out before they’ve reached their point of interest.

So, what would make your audience curious to know more?

PS: If you’re unsure about how to do this, an instant clarity call can help.

Who you want to become

Social media doesn’t feed you based on who you want to become but based on who you are (according to their data).

And yet, the stuff you consume influences who you become.

Therefore, a good question to ask is whether what social media is feeding you is helping you.

Then, act accordingly.

Consider the of course effect

In chasing the “wow effect”, many businesses overlook the “of course effect”.

The of course effect is what makes it a no-brainer to choose your product. It’s what makes people wonder why no one else had that idea before.

The of course effect makes people get accustomed to a product so quickly that they would miss it after the first use should someone dare to take it away from them.

The central locking system on cars was an of course effect. The skip intro button on Netflix was an of course effect. The double click to zoom on iPhones was an of course effect.

Of course effects are way stronger than wow effects.

What’s the of course effect in your offering?

Monty Python’s animations

Want maximum effect from minimal work?

That’s why I use cutout. It’s the quickest and easiest form of animation that I know. – Terry Gilliam (Monty Python)

The quote is taken from this clip and dates back to 1974:

Compared to what Pixar does today, Monty Python’s animations were crude. Paper cuts, made from actual paper with actual scissors, very, VERY roughly animated.

And yet, for Monty Python’s fans they worked. Terry Gilliam, who was responsible for all of the group’s animations, explains why:

The whole point of animation to me is to tell a story, make a joke, express an idea. The technique itself doesn’t really matter. Whatever works is the thing to use.

It’s easy to get lost in perfecting your technique. Using the latest and greatest methods to make shiny trailers that look professional, take an awful amount of time to make and, well, fail to make the point.

Terry Gilliam was more interested in making the point rather than using the fanciest technology. “Whatever works is the thing to use.”

He started from the story, not from the technology. Once he was clear what story to tell, he was looking for the easiest way to tell this story. For him, it was paper cuts. For you, it might be something completely different.

Whatever it is, start with the story and then use whatever works to tell it.

Gentle nudges

My daughter wanted to take a workshop. I called the organizer to register her. I was told that my daughter’s on the list although … well, the workshop might be cancelled because there were not enough registrations. End of story.

Crucially, what’s missing from the story is one simple suggestion the organizer could have made but didn’t: “The workshop is actually even more fun with friends. Does your daughter have a friend who would fancy joining her?” (She could even have made that more attractive by offering a discount if she registers with a friend.)

Of course, it’s obvious. Why would you need to state the obvious? Because what’s obvious to you isn’t obvious to others. Because what’s obvious isn’t necessarily easy. Because sometimes we need that little nudge to actually do the obvious.

Not that this kind of nudging always works. But it’s almost always better to ask than not to ask. After all, my daughter wanted to take the workshop. So, it’s in her best interest to bring a friend.

Which obvious actions could you suggest to your customers to nudge them in their best interest?

Here’s an extra hour for you

If you could have one extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?

Empty your todo list?
Spend more time with family/friends?
Have some alone time (e.g. on a hobby, meditation, …)?
Join another meeting?
Do strategic planning?
Something entirely different?

Whatever it is in your case, a great question to ask is whether one of the hours on your current schedule would be better spent re-purposed to that cause.

Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz