Seems quite counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
Everyone (myself included) will always tell you that you should follow your heart. Do what you believe in. And here I am asking you to put your heart and soul, sweat and blood into doing something you don’t believe in.
Well, to explain it, I’ll need to tell the story of a meeting I once had. Just to give you some context, and because, well because I like telling stories. :-)
AN EARLY MORNING MEETING
I had been working with the company for a few months now, and despite the very short time I had been employed there, I had come to really enjoy working with the CEO. I hope so did he.
We were discussing the marketing strategy for one of our products. We were about to start some campaigns in the North America market, and well, we disagreed on the overall game plan.
As a result, we were having a mildly heated debate. I think we loved having those.
Arguments and counter-arguments were being exchanged between the two of us and after an hour and maybe 5 interruptions from people who needed us for different things, I finally started to appreciate the reality.
We were at an impasse!
So, I needed to figure out a way forward. After all, that’s what my job needed me to do. With that clarity, I steered the conversation differently.
“I don’t think this is going to lead us anywhere. The two approaches we have been debating on are completely orthogonal from each other. We need to pick one of these approaches. If you really believe this strongly in the approach you have been suggesting, let us go with it. I still think that is the wrong thing to do, but if we have to pick one — let us pick that. Worst case scenario, we will learn something new. I’ll formulate a plan with timelines and target numbers.”
And the meeting ended on that consensus.
WHY DID I DO THAT?
Because I do not know everything.
I keep myself open to the possibility that my approach may not be the best approach to handle a task, and as such, I stand ready to be corrected. It is just that in this particular case, the person opposing me was not able to help me see the merit of choosing his approach over mine.
Still. As I said, we could only pick one, so there was no harm in picking what he was suggesting. I may end up learning the error of my ways once I started moving down the rabbit hole. Or, if we realize at any stage that it was the wrong way to go, we could always do the necessary course correction.
AND WHAT DID I DO AFTER THE MEETING?
I executed it the same way I would have executed any other plan. With the same level of details, the same level of bandwidth and the same level of dedication. Nothing had changed.
When I walked back to my chair after that meeting, I had checked my disagreement right there in the meeting room. Now that I had decided I was going to do this, I believed in what I was going to do. I NEEDED to believe in it 100%. Because if I didn’t, I would not be able to give it my best. And if I am not giving it my best, then what’s the frigging point of doing it at all.
So that is exactly what I am asking off of you today. Do what you believe in, and failing that, at least believe in what you are doing. Have faith in it. Don’t do something just because you were asked to do it. Don’t do something while you continue being skeptical of it. It will only kill your efficiency and productivity. And that will be a great disservice. Both to your business, as well as to yourself.
It was a shorter story today. But I think the point that needed to be made did not need any more words. So why make a story long just for the sake of making it long.