Dec 14, 201209:14 AMLeader to Leader
with Terry Siebert
Harnessing the power of ideas
(page 1 of 2)
To move forward you need good ideas. Good ideas are found – they won’t come to you, and it all starts with your thinking. Albert Einstein said, “Thinking is hard work. That is why so few do it.”
Real estate investments can go sour. Gold mines and stock markets tumble. Recessions come, but a human mind with the ability to think is like a diamond mine in the Yukon that never runs out. It’s priceless. To stimulate your thinking, read books, review trade magazines, spend time with good thinkers.
Sharp people sharpen one another. Find sharp people to talk to. Raise big questions. Ask for their best ideas. Share yours. Let new thoughts in, then go off by yourself and make notes. What did the conversation generate? Call them possibilities. Most people are so hard-wired from their past they don’t allow new thoughts to occur, and if the ideas they hear don’t match up, they think they aren’t possible. It is a good practice to listen for possibilities and catch yourself in judgmental listening. Practice saying out loud, “That’s possible.” Watch what happens to you. Some ideas lead to simple, clear actions to take now. Others, like possibilities, need to be developed. Whether you generate, research, or borrow them, you can find ideas.
Ideas have a short shelf life. Act before their expiration date. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it. Just get in the discipline of action. Once you are in action, ride the thinking or feeling. One action leads to another. The feeling that comes with learning will help you stay moving.
Test your ideas with others. The best way to think through ideas and to test them is to write the idea out, put it into a plan, and bring that back to sharp thinkers. For some reason, writing leads to clarity. Another general principle of success is that you can go further with a team than you can alone. It is the same with ideas. They can go a lot further with a team. Get good at engaging others in your ideas and remember that engaging isn’t telling.
Let them think through the idea with you. Paint the picture but get them into possibilities and hard questions, then let them go. If you want genuine thoughts and committed thinking, give them space. Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. Land them with your gut at first but always with people who will be impacted by them, especially key players who are responsible for carrying them out. Too many business and organization ideas have died because people got left out and then unintentionally undermined them. We see this all the time.