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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good to Keep in Mind!

My team is in the midst of serious planning and strategizing.

There's nothing quite like serious planning and strategizing to simultaneously energize you and drain your brain. Very odd.

Anyway, I was catching up on my reading in the hotel last night and read a timely post by leadership coach, Jason Seiden. It was the perfect day to be reminded of the Proper Care and Feeding of Brilliant Ideas (my title, not his).

You’ve got an idea, it’s brilliant, and you want to see it happen. Here are 6 things to consider:

1. “Credit” and “accomplishment” are often a choice. Is it more important for you to get acknowledged for the original idea, or to implement the idea? If you’re willing to forgo credit, you’re far more likely to get things done.
2. Talk about it. Keeping your idea secret for fear that someone might steal it is a surefire way of having your idea go nowhere. If your idea is good, then of course people will want to steal it! Ideas worth doing are ideas that make you stop caring what other people do, that suck you in so completely that you accept the fact of competition for the privilege of working on it.
3. Set milestones. Not dates, milestones. This is a subtle but critical distinction. When you go to take those first few steps with your idea, you’ll have no real way of knowing how easy or hard things will be. You can take a guess, but what you really want to do is achieve your milestone, and then look back and see how long it took. After doing that a few times, then you can start to apply dates to your milestones because you’ll have some history under your belt, and your dates will mean something.
4. Attract a team. If you’re talking with people, you’re having a lot of conversations. Most will go nowhere. However, in your head, pick a few people who you think can and will help you. Rather than ask them to be on your team (as employees, advisors, or something else), see if you can get them to offer to help on their own. When people ask if they can help, that’s when you know (1) you have something good and (2) you’re the right person. If you’re talking about your idea and no one’s asking how they can be part of it, then something’s amiss. You’ll need to think about what it might be.
5. Prepare to be bored. Putting ideas into action is a creative process, and like any creative process, it happens a bit on its own schedule. It’s like trying to get pregnant: you have to be ready to go immediately, but you also need to be ready to wait a long, long time for the magic to kick in. Just in case it takes awhile, prepare for the boredom.
6. Visualize working at your idea every day. Take 20 minutes a day and see yourself in action—not the result, but the process of accomplishment. For some people, this process may trigger some magic manifestation thing into happening. For everyone, this will provide clarity around what needs to be done, what the priorities are, and where dangers lurk at the detail level. All helpful stuff when you are stepping into an unknown.

You can read more of Jason's thoughts on his blog by clicking here.

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